A round table discussion on PPP in Bangladesh was held on 31st May, 2014. at the Chamber Auditorium of DCCI. The event was jointly organized by Public Private Partnership (PPP) Office, Prime Minister’s Office, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD).
The event started with the recital of Holy Quran followed by the welcome address from the Chairman of the event Mr. Shahjahan Khan, President, DCCI. He mentioned that PPP had been being practiced in Europe and other countries for number of years and had been recognized as an opportunity in Bangladesh to deliver the Vision 2021 of the current government. Emphasizing on the need of developing infrastructure through a synchronized, institutionalized and regulatory mechanism, he mentioned that to promote economic growth and development in the country, adequate technical and financial sources were required and PPP projects could aid in those by the means of developing energy, roads and highways, bridges, ports, education, health etc. In this regard, Mr. Shahjahan highlighted the need for further simplification of the procedure for investment. “We need to ensure greater coordination among the organizations responsible for PPP projects implementation”, said the DCCI President.
As Chief Guest of the event, Mr. Md. Azad Abul Kalam, Senior Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office spoke about government’s vision on the PPP program and clarified the conceptual framework of PPPs. He highlighted the key role played by the government and welcomed the initiative taken by the PPP Office in organizing this discussion with the private sector and encouraged such engagements to continue and be enhanced with further Capacity Building and Awareness Creation Campaigns. He emphasized that PPP plays a key role in delivering the infrastructure facilities in Bangladesh.
A keynote presentation was delivered by Syed Afsor H. Uddin, CEO, PPP Office focusing on the concept of PPP, the global use of PPP in infrastructure delivery and the significant progress achieved in developing the PPP program in Bangladesh etc. He highlighted the real opportunities that were being launched for private participation. A number of PPP projects had already been launched for procurement and another 5 projects were expected to be launched over the next 6-12 months. These included Dhaka Bypass road, Shantinagar - Mawa flyover, Multimode surveillance system at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Senior Citizen Health Care and Low Cost Housing Complex in Mirpur with a total investment value of over $500m. The CEO concluded by inviting private investors to participate in these opportunities emphasizing that the PPP Office was ready to provide the facilities to encourage partnership between the public and private sectors for delivering infrastructure projects.
“If Bangladesh fails to develop infrastructure in a quick pace, it will fall behind other competitive countries”, said special guest Mr. Asif Ibrahim, Chairman of BUILD. He also highlighted the potential scopes of employment that PPP infrastructure can bring along with the investments.
“It would be difficult to bank the PPP projects without passing a law. Having a law on this will attract foreign financers or investors to participate in the projects, as the law will give them security”, said Humayun Rashid, a Director of DCCI.
The event was attended by the leading members of business sector such as Mr. Mainuddin Monem, Deputy Managing Director, Abdul Monem Group, Mr. Saiful Islam, Chairman, Western Marine Shipyard, Habibullah M. Karim, Managing Director & CEO, Technohaven Co. Ltd as well as other key government officials.
Other participants welcomed this discussion session and looked forward to opportunities for on-going dialogue to enhance more participation of the private sector in the PPP program.
The discussion ended with a vote of thanks by Mr. Md. Abul Bashar, Deputy Manager, PPP Office.