Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Adopt right PPP model to ensure balance of interests, says Najib

The right public-private partnership model must be adopted in order for countries to achieve an equitable balance of public and private interests, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said Malaysia had learnt that one of the ways to reap maximum benefits from this approach was to have competitive bidding, and not a first come first served approach.

“As such, it is critical that right from the very onset, a right model is adopted. It is only with the right model that an equitable balance of public and private interests can be achieved,” he said in his keynote address at the Jeddah Economic Forum 2016, late Tuesday night.

The JEF 2016 is a platform that focuses on public-private partnerships, by debating solutions and discussing how to overcome challenges, explore business opportunities, and assess the economic benefits offered by Saudi Arabia.

Najib said that the public-private partnerships were essentially long-term concession agreements with long-term impact.

“Negotiators on the government side must match the capabilities and competencies from those representing the private sector. This is to ensure fair and well-balanced results,” he said.

Sharing the Malaysian experience, he said public-private partnerships were made one of the major thrusts of the 10th Malaysian Plan, along with the Economic Transformation Programme, which aimed to push the country into becoming high-income nation by the year 2020.

“In our country, the building of toll highways, ports, airports, flood tunnels, and Government offices, among others, have been made possible by PPP arrangements.

“As at Dec last year, Malaysia successfully implemented 754 PPP projects. Overall, the Government has saved a total capital expenditure of RM203.45bil and total operating expenditure of RM9.25bil. The total proceeds from sales of Government equity and assets stood at RM6.5bil,” he said.

Najib said that amid global uncertainties and turbulence, especially for oil and gas exporting countries, it was vital to diversify economies and increase the participation of the private sector.

“One of the key paths to achieve this is the development of public-private partnerships, and in Malaysia, we have a long history of successfully implementing this model.
“Projects like the North-South Highway, the Tanjung Pelepas port, the KL International Airport and the new administrative centre in Putrajaya have spurred Malaysia’s economic growth and created new areas of development, as well as improved accessibility and mobility,” he said.

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