World news story
The Second UK-Thailand Seminar on Public Private Partnerships
Infrastructure UK shares experiences on Public-Private Partnerships with Thailand for infrastructure, transport and social services projects.
Infrastructure UK, part of Her Majesty’s Treasury (the UK Government’s Finance Ministry), visited Thailand, to share their expertise in infrastructure development and PPPs in the UK. The visit was part of a wider, regional project to build co-operation on PPP between the UK and South East Asia, and was funded through the UK’s Prosperity Fund.
The British Embassy Bangkok, in collaboration with Thailand’s State Enterprise Policy Office (part of the Ministry of Finance), hosted a ‘UK-Thailand Seminar on Public Private Partnerships’ on 29 October 2015, in addition to a regional workshop with ASEAN delegates on Infrastructure Planning on 28 October. The seminar included sessions by experts from Infrastructure UK, James Ballingall, Head of International, and Javier Encinas, Deputy Director. They shared UK expertise on PPP principles and practices, PPP experiences in the UK, challenges and success stories. Representatives from a number of UK infrastructure companies also attended the seminar to share their experiences of PPP projects during the breakout sessions in the afternoon. Mark Kent, British Ambassador to Thailand, and Ekniti Nitithanprapas, Director-General of State Enterprise Policy Office, gave speeches at the opening.
Mark Kent said:
We very much welcome the progress made by the Government of Thailand on PPPs, especially the recent steps to encourage private sector participation in infrastructure financing and the delivery of public services. This includes, among other issues, the launching of the government’s PPP Strategic Plan, the issuance of sub-regulations attached to the PPP Act and the change in approval process for projects. By facilitating greater private sector involvement in infrastructure, I believe these changes will help to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness and economic growth, and strengthen Thailand’s position at the heart of ASEAN connectivity.
On behalf of the British Government, I would like to take this opportunity to say that we wholeheartedly support Thailand in PPPs development. It is our great privilege to work closely with the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) under the Ministry of Finance to share the UK’s expertise on PPP development. Infrastructure UK visited Thailand in January this year to conduct the first knowledge sharing seminar on PPP policy and project development, and we had a technical workshop with SEPO’s PPP Unit.
The UK has a long history of the delivery of public infrastructure and services with private participation. Our journey started in the 1980s with the privatisation of utilities such as water, electricity and gas before moving on to ports, airports and railways in 1994. Between 1997 and 2012, the UK developed a model called Private Finance Initiative (PFI) for the development of social and economic infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and other public facilities and economic infrastructure such as transport and water projects. We also learnt from our mistakes, reforming the PFI model in 2012 to improve its cost effectiveness, flexibility and transparency and strengthening partnership by introducing the new Private Finance 2 or PF2 model. We are constantly evolving. The UK has always been at the forefront of public-private financing arrangements. Today, most UK infrastructure investment is funded by the private sector.
Today I am very happy to have experts from Infrastructure UK, James Ballingall and Javier Encinas, to come to Thailand again to share their experience and expertise from PPP implementation and practical issues in the UK.
The seminar today is a part of our substantial programme of engagement with South East Asia on PPPs under the Prosperity Fund. The Prosperity Fund is the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s technical cooperation programme designed to create the conditions for global growth by working closely with host governments and project implementers.
Infrastructure UK, in collaboration with the State Enterprise Policy Office, will also conduct a workshop with Thailand’s new PPP unit under the State Enterprise Policy on Friday 30 October 2015 at the Ministry of Finance to discuss Thailand’s PPP progress, strategy and PPP pipeline.