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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Monday, August 14, 2006

Commonwealth insights into public-private partnerships on infrastructure development

Daily Mirror: 14/08/2006"

A three-day workshop will be held at the BMICH starting today (August 14) on building public sector capacities to implement successful public private partnerships.

The overseas institution involved in the workshop is the Governance and Institutional Development Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat (GIDD), which is responsible for Public Sector Development. Its mandate covers public sector administration, civil society and private sector institutions with public responsibilities GIDD has experience in helping countries develop their capacity in private public partnership (PPP).

GIDD’s partners are the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and the External Resources Division. The purpose of the conference is to raise awareness amongst sector players, identify barriers, bottlenecks and opportunities and look at the way forward.The workshop will officially be inaugurated today with Minister of Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development Rohitha Bogollagama as chief guest and Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera delivering the keynote address. BOI Chairman Prof. Lakshman R Watawala and Head Asia Pacific Region, Advisor for PPP of the Commonwealth Secretariat Dr Srinivas Sampath will also speak.

The workshop will cover a very wide range of subjects relating to PPP including challenges faced by the public sector, the regulatory framework, risk management, legal and contractual issues, inputs from the private sector project development, project finance for PPP and other related subjects.

The need for such a workshop is pressing as it comes at a time where all around the world governments have sought to secure greater participation of the private sector in infrastructure development. Governments have also loosened their grip on the provision of goods and services. The stage is therefore set for an effort to develop proper regulatory mechanisms and institutions so that there is fair competition, transparency and accountability.

An important point that needs to be considered is the successful track record of PPP in Asia. In the tiger economies of East Asia, which South Asian nations such as Sri Lanka have sought to emulate, successes were achieved through cooperation between the government, private sector and trade unions. This type of co-operation is called tripartite development. Hence the workshop will be a forum where discussions will be held and solutions will be arrived at that will answer many of Sri Lanka’s current bottlenecks, while identifying strengths that can be developed further.

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