The implementation of initiatives to develop public-private partnerships in the energy sector is a powerful incentive for economic growth, along with attracting foreign investment. The government of Uzbekistan has initiated a broad energy strategy to increase the share of renewable energy production to 5 GW over the next 10 years. As part of these reforms, the government engaged the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, as a lead transaction consultant for the construction of a 1250-1500 MW CCGT plant in Syrdarya. The Government is also working with the Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in developing projects in the renewable energy sector as well as in transport, education and water supply and sewerage sectors.
Our interview with the adviser of the PPP Development Agency under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Syed Uddin, who kindly agreed to answer the questions of the Editorial Board of the magazine “EBU”.
– Mr. Uddin, our country has recently entered the path of developing the PPP system and is currently in the process of improving the policy, legal and institutional framework to encourage the participation of the private sector in the effective implementation of various projects. What are the prospects for developing this form of partnership in Uzbekistan?
– Uzbekistan is very well placed to develop a successful PPP programme. The government has clearly set out its strong commitment to PPPs; the PPP Law has been enacted; a dedicated agency, the PPP Development Agency, has been established to facilitate and champion the PPP programme, a robust pipeline of PPP projects has been developed and government is committed to enhancing the investment climate for investors. Therefore, many of the key requirements to develop a successful PPP programme are already in place; as capability and capacity expand and transaction experience is developed, I believe that Uzbekistan could become one of the leading PPP destinations.
– In which areas is public-private partnership developing most actively in Uzbekistan today?
– The power sector has the largest numbers of projects currently in stages of procurement and contract award, however, in projects Public-Private Partnerships are used by governments to access private sector financing and expertise in order to expand the availability of public sector services and deliver quality services on a sustainable basis. Therefore, the primary focus is to ensure that government can accelerate provision of infrastructure based public services for the benefit of its citizens.
– Can you please tell us what public-private partnership is in the practical sense?
Through PPPs, government will enter into a long term contract to allocate the associated risks and responsibility of developing, constructing, financing, maintaining and operating infrastructure assets, or different combinations of these responsibilities, to the private sector to ensure the delivery of services to the public. Government will oversee the performance of the private sector in the delivery of these services to ensure that their contractual obligations are being met and that the citizens receive the service that the government had envisaged.
– What are the features of concluding agreements between the state and private partners, the mechanism of their interaction, and who is the winner in the end?
– The mechanisms for concluding agreements between the state and the private partners are set out in the Public-Private Partnership Law enacted on 3 May 2019 (‘PPP Law’) and other supporting government decrees and resolutions.
You can read the whole interview in the printed version of the magazine.