a year ago

'Review of PPP policies can help improve investment scenario'

ADB launches PPP Monitor publication for BD

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As the country lags behind an average yearly investment need for US$10 billion, stakeholders necessitate the review of screening, selection, implementation and financing modality of the projects under public-private partnership (PPP).

Speakers at a PPP event in the capital on Thursday said the review of related PPP policies and laws, cross government collaboration, change of mindsets in different agencies can also help improve the investment scenario of the country.

They also observed that the country's private sector's increasing capacity to work in the PPP projects with foreign companies are helping the sector benefit in expertise, technology and capital transfer.

The ADB organised the event to launch PPP Monitor, which is to provide possible investors a better understanding of the PPP activities in the country.

Planning Minister MA Mannan attended the event as the chief guest, addressed by Vice President for Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships of ADB Ashok Lavasa, Head of Office of Public-Private Partnership F Cleo Kawawaki, and Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of the Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) of Bangladesh Dr Md Mushfiqur Rahman.

In his speech, M Abdul Bashar, director general (DG) of PPPA, gave an overall picture of PPP projects and the challenges involved in their implementation.

He said the country's investment need for implementing its various projects is $384 billion during the 2015-2030 period, with an average requirement of $24 billion yearly.

The current trend is $14 billion till 2019, while PPP contribution in the investment is 5.5 per cent, he told the event.

Of the 77 PPP projects in the pipeline, estimated total investment is likely $ 38.10 billion.

Though only one is at the operation stage, the DG said nine projects are now under construction stage, followed by seven as contract stage, 18 others at procurement stage and 25 at feasibility stage.

Speaking on the occasion, the planning minister stressed the need for project selection and urged the agencies concerned to ensure better coordination for successful implementation of the projects.

In his speech, ADB VP Ashok Lavasa laid emphasis on being more creative in identifying partnership models between the public and private sector, in order to bring the desired developmental outcomes.

The PPP is an effective procurement method, he said, adding that numerous analyses and reports developed by, or for governments show PPPs deliver value for money.

Later, a panel discussion on the PPPs in Bangladesh took place, moderated by Chairman of the Policy Exchange of Bangladesh Masrur Reaz.

Railways Secretary Dr Muhammad Humayun Kabir, Chief Executive Officer of IDCOL Alamgir Morshed, former MCCI president Barrister Nihad Kabir and Senior Vice President of International Business at NephroPlus Sukesh Chandra, among others, spoke at the event.

Addressing the discussion, the railways secretary underscored the importance of selecting small bankable projects for speedy implementation.

IDCOL CEO Alamgir Morshed said though the country has already made progress in the PPP areas, it is yet to overcome its financing barrier due to a less participation of financial and non-financial institutes.

Masrur Reaz, however, said PPP could upgrade the capacity of the local firms through the transfer of expertise, technology and capital.

Large engineering and construction firms are ready to work with the foreign companies, he added.

Senior Vice President at NephroPlus Sukesh Chandra joined the discussion virtually.

He said successful PPP projects could fulfil the investment gap as well as help expansion of the initiatives.

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