The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce’s National Agenda Committee on Infrastructure presented a set of recommendations on fast-tracking Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) to the Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera recently, and highlighted the need for a robust institutional and operational set up for the new PPP agency.
At a meeting held on July 18th, the group presented their recommendations to the Minister and Ministry officials A. R. Desapriya (Deputy Secretary to the Treasury), K. A. Vimalenthirarajah (Director General of the Department of Trade and Investment Policy), and Deshal De Mel (Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Finance) and discussed priority issues to be tackled and ways of collaborating to advance the PPP investment agenda in Sri Lanka.
The NAC on Infrastructure first made representations to the Ministry of Finance in October 2016, on the need to go for PPPs and establish a robust mechanism for dealing with PPPs in a transparent and profitable manner. This subsequently saw the setting up of a PPP unit and a national PPP initiative, which was launched amidst 100 foreign investors at the Chamber’s Investment and Business Conclave 2017 held in May.
The Committee’s latest set of recommendations focused on developing guidelines to ensure efficient collaboration between the PPP unit and line ministries; prioritization of projects through developing a robust project pipeline; ensuring a fair, transparent and well managed procurement process; as well as implementing an effective communication strategy were, and were well received by Minister Samaraweera. The Chamber Committee and the Ministry officials pledged to collaborate closely to promote PPP investment opportunities among domestic and international investors through the Ceylon Chamber.
The National Agenda Committee on Infrastructure comprises of leaders in the private sector and public sector with experience in infrastructure development, as well as representatives of multilateral development agencies. Since last year, the NAC has been continuously lobbying for the facilitation and fast-tracking of PPPs. This Committee is part of five National Agenda Committees functioning as thought-leadership groups at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, developing insights and advocacy on key strategic economic themes.
To know more about the Ceylon Chamber’s National Agenda Committees initiative, visit the ‘Policy and Advocacy’ section of the Chamber website (www.chamber.lk) and to read the Chamber’s recommendations on PPPs, visit the ‘Submissions to Government’ section.