Regional governments have increasingly been attracted to using public/private partnership (PPP) as a way of funding and providing services to their people in a sustainable way. The British High Commission Kingston, in association with the Development Bank of Jamaica and UK Trade and Investment, is staging a conference “Delivering Growth by Partnership- Sharing UK Capabilities in PPP”, which will take place on February 19th and 20th at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. The conference is being led by a number of PPP experts from the UK and it will provide a useful roadmap to successful implementation.
Many large infrastructural projects being planned by Caribbean Governments are proposed to be financed by PPP. Public-private partnerships are defined as government service or ventures that are provided and operated by the private sector. The UK pioneered the partnership between the public and private sector as a way of providing services at a higher quality and usually at a lower cost. Among the types of PPP projects that are commonly provided are roads, utilities, buildings, schools and hospitals. Jamaica and other Caribbean countries have used the PPP model in the past – the divestment of the Sangster’s International Airport to private sector interests and many toll roads are examples of this.
The public/private partnership (PPP) conference will explore the economic opportunities of PPP and will provide useful training to regional Governments using experts from the UK Treasury. Participants include governments from around the region including Trinidad, Barbados, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, St. Lucia, Belize among others. Representatives from the Jamaican private sector will learn more about the potential of PPP to drive revenues, successful case studies and learn about projects in the near-term and those in the future.
Mr. Owain Ellis of Infrastructure UK, a division of HM Treasury responsible for PPP, will be the moderator for the two day event. Infrastructure UK has three main roles providing policy strategy, financial strategy support and delivery support. Owain will be assisted by David Wright, a Director of PPP Solutions and Managing Director of the Commonwealth Association of Infrastructure Development, his company specializes in giving advice and training to public and private sector clients.
Charmaine Wright, Head of Trade of Investment at UK Trade and Investment and head of the organizing committee said “The idea for staging the Conference came out of our desire to share the UK’s knowledge in an area in which they are world leaders.The Jamaican government, as well as other Governments in the Caribbean, are exploring this method in order to fund infrastructure work and we are hoping this Conference will help them to do so more successfully and efficiently.”
On day 1, government representatives from around the region will be invited to a closed session that will be led by moderator Mr. Owain Ellis assisted by Mr. David Wright. During the day they will learn how to prepare projects, increase value for money, create solid revenue models and how to work effectively with the private sector. One of the most important stakeholders in the process are private sector companies and day 2 of the conference will focus on the potential of PPP to drive revenues and the private sector will hear about projects in the near-term and those that are slated for future development. The day’s proceedings are by invitation only but will be live-streamed on the internet for wider viewing.
The PPP conference is being funded by the Prosperity Fund, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) technical cooperation programme that aims to create the conditions for global growth.