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22 Jan 2016

UNDP-Belarus cooperation in PPP hailed as best in CIS

MINSK, 22 January (BelTA) – The results of cooperation between Belarus and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the public-private partnership (PPP) sector are among the best in the CIS, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Belarus Yekaterina Paniklova told media ahead of the meeting of the Interagency Infrastructure Coordination Council (IICC) on 22 January, BelTA has learned.

“Over the past three years the United Nations Development Program has provided support to the Belarusian government in creating foundation for the public-private partnership. We implemented a joint project that was financed by the European Commission to the total tune of $1 million. The UNDP made its contribution as well. The results were among the best in the CIS,” noted Yekaterina Paniklova.

The Interagency Infrastructure Coordination Council and the Center of Public-Private Partnership at the Economy Ministry were set up as part of the project. Apart from that, more than 30 training sessions welcomed over 1,500 Belarusian specialists and international experts.

"But the most important thing is the preparation of pilot PPP projects. There are only seven of them. They have attracted the attention of financial institutions, in particular the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,” Yekaterina Paniklova said. She also noted the crucial importance of the law on public-private partnership. "This is a good example for other countries," she said.

Public private partnership is viewed as a model for cooperation between the state and the private sector in a way that allows implementing important social projects through reliance on innovations, capital, and resources of private businesses without putting too much stress on the state budget. In general terms the private partner is supposed to create and service an infrastructure object for a period of time specified by the contract (10-20 years usually) in exchange for fixed payments allocated by the state budget. After the contract expires, the state (a municipal government agency) takes over the asset.

The Interagency Infrastructure Coordination Council was established in May 2014. It is in charge of developing proposals for enabling legal, economic, and informational conditions conducive to the attraction of private capital, including foreign capital, for the sake of implementing infrastructure development projects using public private partnership principles.

The Council is a collegial body meant to deal with long-term infrastructure planning (10-15 years). The Council's work is supposed to determine the priority of implementing infrastructure projects while keeping them compliant with requirements of the country for rational government spending in addition to securing maximum economic, social, and ecological benefits for the nation.

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