Speaking at a seminar on ‘Risk management on PPPs in the Mena region, Charles Russell Speechlys Partner Simon Green said that of the $350 billion projects related to 2022 FIFAWorld Cup and Qatar National Vision 2030, Qatar needs to develop at least 20% of the public-private partnerships (PPPs) to achieve the desired results of economic diversification.
Green said that PPPs will play a great role in realising Qatar’s commitment to boost private sector.
Organised by Qatar Chamber, the seminar follows on the recent announcement by the Minister of Economy and Commerce HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al Thani that the government will launch some major projects under the PPP schemes.
According to Green, the PPPs will improve Qatar’s expertise and capacity in critical fields such as labour accommodation, transportation, logistics, education and renewable energy among others.
He added that the PPPs will play a more significant role than merely acting as an instrument to attract investment, to Qatar.
Through partnering with the private sector, delivery of public services and management of public assets in Qatar will improve, he pointed out.
Ernst and Young Partner Abraham Akkawi said expanding the use of PPPs in Qatar for its rapid major infrastructure development has great scope and that Qatar can also utilise the PPP structure to promote efficiency in implementing its transport projects leading up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
He said that the development and operation of mega infrastructure projects can benefit by PPP initiatives as they can offer the required expertise and know-how.
Akkawi said that this in turn will reduce the burden of Qatar’s public sector workforce to manage and oversee these projects, adding that it will allow the public sector to focus more on policymaking and project implementation.
Through intelligent risk allocation and sharing between the public and the private partners value would be added to the success of a PPP initiative.
According to Qatar International Center of Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA) Deputy Secretary General Minas Khatchadourian, a credible, transparent bidding process will be crucial in attracting high-quality bidders and maximising value of money for governments.
However, he advised caution before embarking on any PPP project, and said that the Qatari government must build its capabilities to manage and implement PPPs to ward off possible liabilities.