IRF Global Forum for PPPs, Dubai, UAE
A Turning Point in Infrastructure Project Funding
For many governments, the transition to PPPs represents an important shift in key operational practices and client-contractor relations: contractors are much more closely embedded in the agency’s organization and investment decisions, since they provide the inputs that assist asset managers in prioritizing maintenance budgets and scheduling works accordingly. Cooperation becomes thus even more important, not only between road agencies and contractors, but also with other public authorities.
Against this backdrop, IRF and the UAE’s Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MOID) co-hosted a global leadership forum aimed at leveraging international experience to achieve consensus on the mechanisms and institutional enablers for effective PPPs in transportation infrastructure.
The United Arab Emirates government has announced plans to roll out Public Private Partnerships in support of investments in infrastructure. Beyond the impact of persistently low oil prices on public spending patterns, there is also greater regional awareness of the need for structural reform in the management of transportation programs and, by extension, the respective role of public agencies, regulatory bodies and private sector partners.
Although many challenges remain before there is a healthy pipeline of PPP deals across the region, the Forum confirmed that there is a real feeling that the stars have never been better aligned to allow that pipeline to grow. In designing effective programs that leverage private sector skills and incentivize performance, transportation stakeholders can bypass a steep learning curb thanks to the availability of well-documented international know-how.