PPP authority holds seminar at Dubai World Expo to harness FDI
A Seminar was organised by the Public Private Partnership PPP Authority in Bangladesh Pavilion in World Expo- 2020 in Dubai about investment opportunities here in this country under PPP framework.
Chaired by Bangladesh Ambassador in the UAE Abu Zafar, Sultana Afroz, Secretary and CEO of PPP Authority attended the event as chief guest. Private investors and government officials of both countries attended the event and spoke on Bangladesh-UAE bilateral relations based on shared faith, culture, tradition, and common aspirations.
The Bangladesh government policy for PPP projects through Government to Government (G2G) Partnership aims at promoting PPP projects for development. It has also a G2G PPP Partnership with Japan, Singapore, Korea,
UAE, Denmark, and Saudi Arabia and has already signed PPP contracts with several international firms from Malaysia, China, Thailand, and India. PPP Authority also undertakes capacity programs for government officials and others associated with PPP programs.
The PPP Authority also supports social infrastructure PPP projects, such as health care, climate change, sanitation, housing, and public utilities among other social objectives. The current PPP pipeline includes 79 projects in various sectors from 17 ministries worth around 29.23 billion USD.
Bangladesh has its own pavilion in the World Expo for the first time. It's working theme is "Connecting Minds and Creating the Future," which is expected to inspire and initiate change for a better future with a focus on 3 sub-themes - sustainability, mobility, and opportunity.
Bangladesh's economy is getting stronger and to keep pace with its growth, infrastructural improvement and development are fast hand prerequisites. This requires huge investment in infrastructure that the government budget cannot cover alone.
Realizing the gap, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has identified public-private partnership (PPP) as a mechanism that will play a significant role in filling the investment gap to achieving the Social Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and make the country a developed one by 2041.
If any project is technically feasible but commercially not so, then there is a provision for viability gap financing (VGF). The government has also established specialized financial institutions to facilitate PPP projects. Tax holidays, VAT exemption, etc. helped ensure adequate private return.
Sultana Afroz said she would like to reiterate that PPP is a project and service delivery model with multiple opportunities for private investors. They can participate as a developer also.
They can invest directly or provide loans as there is room for providing consultancy services. The private investors can also be contractors. There is also a mechanism for providing different alternative investments in PPP projects, such as insurance fund, private equity, sukuk, green bond, venture capital, impact investment, and so on."
She reminded that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's historic visit to the UAE in 1974 laid the foundation stone of our bilateral relations. She thanked the government of UAE, the government of Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh High Commission for supporting the holding of the seminar amid the Covid-19 pandemic.