Senior economic officials from the United Kingdom and Central America, including Guatemala, discussed mechanisms to successfully implement public-private partnership (PPP) schemes in the region in a three-day seminar held by the British Embassy in Panama.
British and Central American officials exchanged views on the UK experience in the development of PPPs, the legal framework surrounding the execution of such projects, and the planning process and social impact of these alliances. Both sides agreed that governments alone cannot meet the constantly growing demand for services, and there is a need to look for support from others, including the private sector.
The United Kingdom encourages the development of PPPs as one of the most promising forms of such collaboration. It is based on the recognition that both public and private sectors can benefit from pooling their financial resources, know-how and expertise to improve the delivery of basic services, including infrastructure projects, to the public. Guatemala is currently looking to develop such opportunities.
The Guatemalan delegation was led by the Executive Director of the Committee for Alliances for the Development of Economic Infrastructure of Guatemala (ANADIE), Mr. Julio Hector Estrada; and the Planning Advisor for the Roads Department at the Ministry of Communications and Infrastructure (CIV), Mr. Sergio Estuardo Navas. The UK delegation was co-chaired by Mr. Javier Encinas and Mr. James Ballingall, both experts from Infrastructure UK, a unit within the Treasury that works on the UK’s long-term infrastructure priorities and secures private sector investment.
The UK-Central America training cooperation on PPPs started early this year with an introductory workshop in London, followed by this seminar in Panama and will conclude with a tour to the region by the FCO’s Head of Central American Economic Affairs, James Beeson, and Infrastructure UK experts, to explore project opportunities.