ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Asean PPP centre to spur growth, connectivity: expert
Publication Date : 28-08-2013
The Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia (Eria) is mulling the establishment of a centre to provide technical support and capacity building for public-private partnerships (PPP) in Asean member states to enhance coordination among stakeholders.
Professor Hidetoshi Nishimura, the executive director of Eria, said yesterday that the insitute considered it important to have a regional PPP Centre of Excellence that would help accelerate infrastructure development and connectivity in the Asean.
Nishimura said that the centre would act as system support for the PPP unit in Asean member states, particularly in technical assistance and capacity building. It would also facilitate knowledge exchange among stakeholders, he said.
"The centre will be equipped with experts in PPP processes including engineering experts, project management experts, financiers and lawyers," he said.
He was speaking during the closing of the 4th Asean Connectivity Symposium held yesterday at The Centrepoint Hotel, during which he highlighted PPP as an effective option to develop infrastructure projects under the Asean Connectivity Master Plan.
He reiterated the importance of the PPP guidelines for Asean which will aid Asean member states to move forward in partnering with the private sector for crucial projects.
"Evidences from many countries also confirmed that a well-designed and functioned PPP unit significantly improves PPP implementation," Nishimura said.
On his part, Subash Bose Pillai, director of the Asean Secretariat's Market Integration Directorate, urged Asean to create a conducive environment for private sector to invest in connectivity projects in the region.
Citing Goldman Sachs and the Asian Development Bank, he said these projects would require an estimated US$600 billion through 2020.
"Asean cannot be truly integrated without creating an enabling environment that connects our people as well as our instructions that facilitate the free movement of goods, services and people," he added.
Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday said that PPPs are capable of mobilising finance and technical resources.
"At the heart of these partnerships are the benefit and risk-sharing mechanisms", he said.
Organised by Eria, the symposium was designed to connect policy makers, private investors and academics within the region and dialogue partners to implement Asean Connectivity projects.
During the symposium, international and regional experts reviewed the implementation of Asean Connectivity, methods to mobilise funding as well as recommendations of best practices within the PPP framework.
Asean Connectivity is a key priority area of cooperation that is criticial to the integration and economic prosperity of the Southeast Asian region.