Qatar plans new public private partnership law this year, private sector set to gain

Qatar is giving final touches to the new public private partnership (PPP) law, which will provide a sound legal framework for the multi-billion dollar projects that are being planned, a move that will not only boost foreign direct investment but also fix accountability and provide for monitoring efficiency in the private sector. "It is in the final stage and we had consultation with private sector and all stakeholders will be happy as it will ensure their rights and ease the burden on the government," Dr Khaled Yousef Alderbesti, adviser to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) said in Doha on the sidelines of a function organised by Business Year magazine. Asked when the new law will be enacted, he said it has to go through certain procedures but is expected within this year. Projects developed under the PPP will help reduce the burden of capital expenditure on Doha, which has committed to a $70bn spending on infrastructure, ahead of 2022 FIFA World Cup, Meed Business Review had said, adding the sectors that have been identified as offering the “best potential” for PPP include hospitality, logistics, education and real estate. Earlier inaugurating the roundtable, Sultan bin Rashid al-Khater, Undersecretary at the MEC, said that the ministry is drafting a PPP law, which is an important economic model for reinforcing the capacity of the local economy. He highlighted that PPP projects were already launched in the education and healthcare sectors and achieved major mile-stones in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Ministry of Public Health. Terming the role of MEC as a bridge between the public and private sector, Alderbesti said the government is optimistic that the new PPP law, which will delineate the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder and put accountability, will help the private sector for which opportunities are abundant. Highlighting the importance of PPPs as a vehicle for enhancing Qatar’s ambitious project pipeline, experts from Ashghal, Manateq, Milaha, Qatar Development Bank and QNB Capital agreed that the expanded use of PPPs in Qatar is slated to facilitate the delivery of major government infrastructure programmes and offers opportunities for private sector developers, financiers, and investors. Having a PPP law should provide an additional level of comfort to the private sector and foreign investors, as well as greater guidance to government entities wishing to undertake PPP projects, they added. Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, assistant president of Ashghal outlined the opportunities for PPP through build-own-transfer mode, especially in sewage treatment, saying that the private sector can play a bigger role. Qatar already has experience in using the private sector to deliver utility projects. It has developed four schemes in the power and water sector using variations of the PPP model, including the Ras Laffan Independent Water and Power Projects A, B and C and the Mesaieed A independent power project. Fahad Rashid al-Kaabi, chief executive of Manateq; Abdulrahman Essa al-Mannai, president and chief executive of Milaha; Mira al-Attiyah, chief executive of QNB Capital and Khamis Hamad al-Kubaisi, executive director (strategy and business development) at QDB also spoke.       Source: zawya