ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department To Encourage Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) In Pakistan
ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department To Encourage Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) In Pakistan: Recently Asian Development bank (ADB) has planned to open its desk soon under private sector operations department at the bank’s Islamabad mission to push for more public-private partnerships (PPPs) in a country with risk perceptions among the investors.
Michael Barrow, director general of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department said at a media briefing that ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department that functions very much similar to the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, has opened up desks in countries like China and India and soon will place people in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Pakistan has well-structured model especially in its power infrastructure importantly the government has to push it for the investors break the country’s risk perception.
Barrow said overseas companies are still not looking beyond Pakistan’s negative headlines on “security challenges” and “power outages”.
When the present government came to power in 2013, it had made a one-time payment of Rs.480 billion to settle the circular debt that causes financial constraints throughout the energy sector’s chain, involving fuel suppliers, power producers and distributors.
The bank through PPPs is looking to strengthen the country’s energy sector infrastructure specially the transmission and distribution networks.
Public Private Partnerships
Asian Development Bank (ADB) is pushing for more Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in line with its priority to support infrastructure development.
In April, ADB granted a $100 million loan to help Punjab government enhance the commercial capability of and augment private sector participation in PPP projects.
Last year, ADB loaned $100 million to improve and strengthen the standards in the development and delivery of PPP projects to increase investment in infrastructure and services in Sindh.
Barrow, ADB representative in the country’s first private sector power project – Hubco, said the ADB’s partnership with private investors, mainly local and international banks, will help Pakistan attract new lenders who at the moment are a bit reluctant in giving funds to the country.
CPEC: Private Investment
The Chinese-funded $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects are the biggest foreign investment in the country’s history but it’s still struggling to attract western private investments.
“The government has to come up with some solutions for the circular debt issue (estimated at Rs. 541 million), delay in projects implementation and frequent regulatory changes,” Barrow added.
The ADB has approved debt financing and risk guarantees through private financing for a number of agri, infrastructure and power sectors projects in Pakistan in recent years.
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