Qatar likely to issue public-private partnership law by the summer: PwC

Qatar is expected to finalise a new law governing the use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) by the summer and will likely use the model for one of its FIFA World Cup stadiums, according to a new report by global consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Historically, Gulf governments have funded most of their infrastructure without private sector involvement, but the sharp decline in crude prices since mid-2014 has spurred oil-producing states to seek alternative means to finance projects. “Qatar is expected to finalise a PPP law by the summer, similar to ones enacted recently by Dubai and Kuwait, and Oman is also drafting one,” PwC said in its Middle East Economy Watch report last week. Qatar is considering a PPP model for one of its World Cup stadiums, it added. In January 2017, Zawya, a Thomson Reuters website, reported that Qatar was planning to introduce a PPP law as the government looks to ease the strain of funding its pipeline of projects ahead of the state’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Reuters quoted Finance Minister Ali Al Emadi as saying in a briefing in February that Qatar is spending close to $500 million a week on capital projects, with the focus on preparations to host the World Cup in 2022. The minister also said that Qatar had already awarded 90 percent of the contracts for the World Cup projects. He added that pressure on state finances was easing because of the recovery in oil prices and that the government may not need to issue an international bond this year. Wealthier oil exporters had become used to consistently high oil revenue for most of the last decade, funding vast infrastructure investment programmes, the PwC report said. But they are now looking for new means of financing, as it has become increasingly accepted that lower oil prices are here to stay. “This will continue to be a focus in 2017 and beyond as even if prices improve slightly on 2016, most countries will still be facing fiscal deficits,” the report said, estimating oil prices to hover at between $50 to $60 a barrel during the next few years. Qatar is expected to award projects worth around 46.1 billion Qatari rials ($12.6 billion) in infrastructure and other sectors in 2017, Arabic daily Sharq reported in April. Infrastructure and transport projects account for more than half the total project value, estimated at 25 billion Qatari rials, the newspaper said, quoting a report by the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The projects include those associated with the World Cup, which are valued at around 8.5 billion Qatari rials. Total project allocations for the 2017-2018 fiscal year stood at around 87.1 billion Qatari rials, down by 5.2 per cent from the previous year’s allocations of nearly 91.9 billion Qatari rials.       Source: zawya