The Ministry of Economy supported by World Bank experts has prepared the first draft law on Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the country, whose main goal is to strengthen the role and competencies of the Economy Ministry as a strong oversight body in the implementation of PPP projects during their entire process, Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi said Wednesday.
“During the preparation of this law the ministry was in constant communication with the chambers of commerce and the business community in order to create legal framework that will be in the interest of all stakeholders, to identify the problems of PPP, in order to improve the possibilities for using the private sector for timely delivery of more efficient and better public services,” Bekteshi said at the press conference with the British Ambassador Rachel Galloway and World Bank Country Manager, Massimiliano Paolucci.
He said that the draft law, prepared with support of the World Bank and the British Embassy within the project for strengthening regulatory framework and public policies on Public Private Partnerships and concessions in North Macedonia, which kicked off in July 2019, was sent to all parties involved in order in the coming period to fully comply with the international best practice in PPPs.
“The new PPP law aims to contribute to socio-economic development by encouraging competitiveness, investment, trade and technological innovation. New investments in infrastructure will create jobs, increase access to the labor market and provide better services in key sectors such as water, energy, health and education,” Bekteshi added.
He emphasized that the Ministry of Economy together with IT experts from the World Bank worked on creating a software for the Ministry of Economy where all concluded PPP contracts in the country will be included, as the only repository of all PPPs.
“The PPP register will collect information from PPP contracts and related documents, and will provide access to data to all donors to monitor projects from the outset to the conclusion of the contract and its implementation,” Bekteshi noted.
Paolucci addressing the online press conference said that PPPs play a constructive role in a country’s development and can improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of public services.
“According to the World Bank, in 2019, PPP investments amounted to EUR 96.7 billion across 419 projects in 62 countries worldwide. PPPs rarely represent more than 10% of government investment annually and they are only a supplement to traditional public investment,” Paolucci said.
He said that three things are important for implementation of PPP – firstly political will, secondly the public sector to have the capacity to develop projects that will mutually benefit the private sector, and thirdly transparent implementation of PPP projects.
“We launched the Public Private Partnership for North Macedonia to support the government in identifying and operationalising a PPP model that is fit for Macedonian needs in the economy and public services,” British Ambassador Galloway said.
She noted that PPPs are characterized by risk, but many of these projects are successful all over the world, although there are some with major shortcomings. Therefore, obligations need to be set out to the public and private sector that should improve the effectiveness of such projects, she added.
Bekteshi told reporter that modern models should be found, including PPPs for all JSCs and PEs in a country that works at a loss in order to improve services, and at the same time not have a negative impact on the budget.