New PPP law to boost big Qatar projects
Doha, February 26, 2013
A widely anticipated law to regulate public-private partnerships (PPP’s) will accelerate development of key infrastructure projects in Qatar as the private sector plays a greater role in the sustainable urban development, said experts.
The Qatari government has expressed plans to transfer public sector-led development to a market-driven economy, recognizing the opportunities in engaging in private sector enterprise and the speed at which projects could potentially be completed.
Over $140 billion has been committed to mega projects and smart city development in Qatar’s Vision 2030 plan across energy, transport, education, health and tourism sectors, they stated.
An impressive series of projects in the pipeline include a $68.5 billion injection into a transport corridor, new roads, railways, a new Doha airport, and deep-water seaport, along with $4 billion to be invested in stadiums and an additional boost into new hotels and tourism facilities.
As hosts of the 2022 Fifa World Cup Qatar has an incentive to deliver world class facilities and services, with PPP initiatives having the potential to avoid time and cost overruns on these crucial developments and the freeing up of the public sector workforce for policy making and project implementation.
A 2012 study by Markab Advisory found that countries in the GCC plan to invest up to $2 trillion in PPP’s and infrastructure over the next decade, and that a more efficient process would save Qatar $30 billion.
The study recommended the government create a centralized PPP unit and a fund to streamline activities, provide direction and aid political support.
PPP’s have played a strategic role in the development of a number of key projects across the Middle East region, although these have been predominantly in the energy sector.
Much-publicized failures and high-profile delays such as the $3 billion Mafraq-Gweihat highway in Abu Dhabi and the $ billion Landbridge in Saudi Arabia have hindered the uptake of the concept on a wider scale, although the extend of new infrastructure and smart urban development plans may act as the catalyst to accelerate a transition of projects from the public to the private sector.
King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Saudi is the largest private sector development in the Middle East, consisting of the construction of a seaport, industrial valley, education zone, central business district, residential zone and resorts.
Developed on innovative models of PPP’s the development of KAEC is being undertaken by the private sector, with the public sector creating a business environment which allows investments to flourish.
The model has been very successful in attracting global companies to the Saudi Arabian market and seeks to encourage foreign trade movement which in return will benefit Saudi Arabia's economic and social sectors.
Rayan Qutub, the executive director and head of business development and economic cities authority at Emmar, The Economic City, will be speaking at the upcoming Arab Future Cities Summit in Doha about the KAEC's PPP model and approach to ensuring long-term commercial viability.
It will provide a platform for discussion between public and private sector decision-makers involved in sustainable urban development in Qatar and across the Middle East region.
Robert Lee, the CEO of Bahrain Bay Development, and Essa Mohammed Ali Kaldari, the CEO of Lusail Real Estate Development Company will also join Rayan Qutub in a panel discussion which will look at key points for stimulating economic growth, strategies for successful public-private partnerships, attracting businesses, retaining talent and ensuring employment for citizens.
The summit, to be held on April 22 & 23 at the St. Regis Doha, is being organised by Expotrade Global, a conference and event organizer with head office based in Melbourne and regional office in Dubai.-TradeArabia News Service