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1 Apr 2016

Belarus, UNECE to continue working together to promote public private partnership

MINSK, 1 April (BelTA) – Belarusian First Deputy Economy Minister Alexander Zaborovsky presented a program on developing public private partnership in Belarus during the international forum “Implementing the United Nations 2030 agenda through effective, people-first public-private partnerships” in Geneva, the press service of the Belarusian Economy Ministry told BelTA.

The event took place with assistance of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). During the plenary session of the forum Alexander Zaborovsky presented the Belarusian government’s measures aimed at reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the country. In particular, he mentioned the intention to include measures aimed at reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals into the strategy, which is designed to guide Belarus’ sustainable social and economic development till 2030. Resources and the intellectual potential of the expert community and the private sector will be utilized for that via public private partnership mechanisms. Representatives of the Economy Ministry told BelTA that Belarus’ accomplishments in reaching Sustainable Development Goals and the country’s contribution to the global agenda were highly praised by participants of the forum and the UNECE top administrators.

Alexander Zaborovsky also made speeches during three panel sessions on using public private partnership mechanisms for the sake of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The official also presented the national public private partnership development program and individual pilot projects. Those included the reconstruction of the third clinical hospital in Grodno for the sake of converting it into the Grodno Oblast Clinical Oncologic Dispensary and the reconstruction of part of the M10 motorway Russian Federation border — Gomel – Kobrin.

The Belarusian First Deputy Economy Minister spoke at length about what the Belarusian government has done already to increase the potential and expand the experience of developing public private partnership as an institution. “We have trained 1,500 certified specialists in the area of public private partnership. We have created an interagency infrastructure coordination council and a public private partnership center. We have published the national infrastructure plan and are working hard to start the first few pilot projects. The law on public private partnership was passed on 30 December 2015 to enter into force this summer,” said Alexander Zaborovsky.

As near-term goals he mentioned the assimilation of UNECE standards on public private partnership to better utilize the best practices for reducing ecological, economic, and corruption risks during the implementation of investment projects.

Alexander Zaborovsky also met with UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Bach. The meeting focused on the specific projects that will be implemented in Belarus with UNECE’s assistance. The sides agreed it is necessary to continue working together to advance public private partnership.

On the sidelines of the forum Alexander Zaborovsky held a number of business meetings and negotiations, including with Chairman of the Board of the Federal Center for Project Financing under the aegis of Russian Vnesheconombank Alexander Bazhenov. The head of the Russian company agreed to start working together to prepare a number of public private partnership projects, including the project to reconstruct the Grodno clinical hospital.

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.

In 2015 the Interagency Infrastructure Coordination Council selected seven pilot public private partnership projects: the reconstruction of part of the M10 motorway Russian Federation border — Gomel – Kobrin, the construction of a 41.35km-long road in Gomel taking into account the construction of a bridge over the Sozh River and five crossovers, the construction of the Beshenkovichi hydropower plant (33MW – 130 million kWh) on the Zapadnaya Dvina River in Vitebsk Oblast, the construction of a waste incinerating factory in Bobruisk, the reconstruction of the third clinical hospital in Grodno for the sake of converting it into the Grodno Oblast Clinical Oncologic Dispensary, the construction of preschool daycare centers for children in Minsk Oblast, and the construction of the first startup complex as part of the historical and cultural complex Brest inside the outer defensive perimeter of the Brest Fortress.

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