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The Financial Express

Nine PPP-G2G projects: Scope aplenty for $10b investment

MUNIMA SULTANA | Published: December 20, 2019 10:11:10 | Updated: December 23, 2019 15:21:08


Nine PPP-G2G projects: Scope aplenty for $10b investment

Scope abounds for a whacking $10-billion investment in nine projects under public-private partnership (PPP) with the government-to-government (G2G) arrangement.

The PPP Authority (PPPA) has so far signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with four nations and made some progress with Japan and Singapore to this end.

Sources said the PPPA inked such memoranda with Japan and Singapore in 2017 and 2018 and finalised nine projects under the G2G arrangement.

Potential private investors picked by respective governments have still been negotiating with ministries concerned of the country.

But some progress has been made in the case of six projects with Japanese investors and three projects of Singapore investors.

Since the MoU with Japan on June 15, 2017, Bangladesh Railway, and Roads and Highways Department are working on six projects selected by Japanese land, infrastructure, transport and tourism ministry.

Officials said the projects, picked during Bangladesh-Japan joint platform meetings and negotiations, are expected to bring an estimated $6.5-billion investment.

The projects are Kamalapur Multimodal Transport Hub, Airport Station Multimodal Transport Hub, Dhirershoram Container Depot, Outer Ring Road, Chattogram Cox's Bazar Highway and Mass Transit Line-02.

The PPPA also expects a $3.5-billion investment by Singapore in three projects of shipping and housing ministries after signing a MoU on March 12, 2018.

Bay terminal project of the Chattogram Port Authority is of shipping ministry and two apartment projects at Purbachal and Mirpur of housing ministry.

Two other such instruments have been signed with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and South Korea on February 17 and April 01 this year respectively.

Since the MoU with the UAE, according to the officials, joint platform meetings have been held twice to finalise the projects, but things are not settled yet.

The PPPA presented more than 20 projects in 10 sectors during the first platform meeting in September 01.

The second meeting in Dubai on December 12 discussed 10 projects.

On the other hand, the first joint meeting between Bangladesh-South Korea on April 18 proposed 14 projects in power transmission, railways, real estate development, health, transports and textile.

But Korea queried about 10 projects in road, airport, railways and power generation sector, sources said.

There was no headway in the selection of the projects by investors during the platform meetings.

The PPPA at its first board meeting in 2016 proposed the concept of PPP projects in bilateral collaboration with partner countries.

It started signing such deals after preparing a guideline named 'Policy for implementing PPP projects through G2G partnership in 2017'.

PPPA officials said the modality of a country's engagement varies and a platform meeting is held when they make a list after reviewing projects sent by different ministries and agencies.

Partner countries may also propose projects of their interests during joint platform meetings for discussion, they added.

Both sides then explore possibilities and review respective proposals to finalise projects.

PPPA director general Abul Bashar said the PPP-G2G framework facilitates financing as investors often get difficulty in arranging funds for multiple reasons.

Participation of bilateral development agencies in a project is designed to get credit lending easy and comfortable for commercial lenders, he concluded.

smunima@yahoo.com

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