Infrastructure needs and public-private partnerships focus of global meeting at EBRD

By Olga Rosca

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Infrastructure needs and public-private partnerships focus of global meeting at EBRD

Leaders from public, private sectors and multilateral development banks gather for PPP Days 2015

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are the focus of a two-day global meeting which started today at the London Headquarters of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The main theme of The PPP Days 2015 is “What would it take to double the right private investment in infrastructure in emerging markets?”

The event brings together public sector agencies, multilateral development banks (MDBs) and other international financial institutions (IFIs) as well as international organisations and private sector leaders. Representatives from G20, which in 2014 endorsed the creation of a Global Infrastructure Hub to drive progress on the infrastructure agenda, also join the meeting.

Opening the conference, EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “Infrastructure investment is key to unlocking economic growth. Emerging markets continue to drive over three quarters of global economic growth and it is critical that the international community, including the IFIs, join efforts to do more and do better to accelerate infrastructure investment in emerging markets. We have an ambitious joint agenda to support infrastructure PPPs across the globe and the level of collaborative MDB work in the sector is unprecedented.”

Recently, President Chakrabarti joined the heads of other MDBs and the International Monetary Fund in proposing a new approach to delivering financing for development. In a joint statement issued in April 2015, they said that achieving the new development goals will require “moving from billions to trillions in resource flows” and “that financing from private sources, including capital markets, institutional investors and businesses, will become particularly important.”

In his keynote address, Thomas Maier, EBRD Managing Director, Infrastructure said: “Even if fiscal conditions in both developed and emerging economies improve, the widening infrastructure financing gap is unlikely to be met from public sources alone. Private capital must be mobilised to fill these gaps.

“Finding a way to leverage private sector investment through sound, consistent and sustained public sector policies should be a focal point for governments all over. With their unique relationships with emerging market governments, IFIs can and do play an important role and have proved to be willing and able partners”, he added.

The PPP Days 2015 also highlight the importance of knowledge transfer in finding bankable and sustainable solutions to infrastructure challenges across the globe.

Launching today, is a new MDBs collaborative online effort that aims to be a one stop shop for PPP needs. The PPP Knowledge Lab is a new curated, comprehensive and easy-to-use online resource on PPPs.

Although the use of public-private partnerships to design, build and deliver infrastructure worldwide has grown enormously in the past decade, the availability of information to support governments and their advisors has not kept pace. The PPP Knowledge Lab, a joint effort between the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank Group fills that gap.

The agenda of The PPP Days 2015 also includes a presentation of the MDBs’ project preparation facilities to broaden the pipeline of bankable projects; a live Google Hangout from the ongoing, massive open online course (MOOC) on PPPs; a presentation on MDBs’ wide-ranging analysis to deepen understanding of countries’ readiness for PPPs and the Global PPP Certification Programme,  to train public sector officials around the globe and will culminate in a new best practice guide to delivering PPPs successfully. A qualification program is also being developed, among many other joint efforts.

In addition, 16 emerging market countries will present their priority PPP projects and programmes to investors.

The EBRD is hosting The PPP Days 2015 in close cooperation with other MDBs: African Development Bank (AfdB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Investment Bank (EIB), Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), World Bank Group (WBG) and the G-20.


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