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Private investment in public infrastructure gets red carpet

Update: July, 30/2012 - 08:55

The public-private partnership (PPP) model may promote infrastructure development, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh told the newspaper Tuoi Tre (Youth).

Ho Chi Minh City has been selected as the first locality in the country to implement the PPP model in infrastructure development. What are your expectations from the scheme?

As we all know, we are in dire need of investment in infrastructure development. We cannot rely entirely on the State budget and official development assistance (ODA). In such a situation we have to find an answer to the problem. In my opinion, an effective way is capital mobilisation from non-public sectors, including the private sector.

We're pinning our hopes on the success of the HCM City pilot project. Of course, the MPI has an obligation to develop mechanisms and policies to mobilise various investment sources for national development, particularly from the non-public sectors.

We had a meeting with HCM City leaders to discuss ways to get the non-public sectors involved in infrastructure development.

We agreed that the private sector could contribute a lot to infrastructure development and should be allowed to do so, while the meagre state budget can be spent on areas of no interest to the private sector or in which they lack expertise.

I think that HCM City has the right conditions to attract private investment in infrastructure development.

Do legal documents need to be revised if the PPP model takes off in Viet Nam?

I think that it is a long and difficult process. In order for it to become a reality, quite a number of relevant laws and regulations must be revised to facilitate the implementation of the model and enable authorities to oversee and manage it. In addition, this is the first time we have introduced the PPP model in our country, so we need to learn from other countries that have experience in carrying out the model, ranging from compiling legal documents to policies and implementation.

Many investors have expressed concern over the lack of transparency and stability in our policies. Does the MPI have any plans to address the issue?

This is an objective requirement. If we don't win investor's confidence, they won't want to risk their money.

It is imperative to have transparent and stable policies in place first. For example, it must be clear right from the beginning what proportions are contributed by the State and the investors, and how the risks are allocated. In other words, the rights and obligations of all parties must be reflected in the project documents.­ — VNS

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