Caribbean participants share PPP experiences


Caribbean states and Pacific island nations have several things in common including their respective regional organisations that are engaged in efforts to build their collective as well as individual national economies. <!--more-->The Caribbean has regional set ups much like the regional organisations that are working in the Pacific islands region.

One of the key drivers of public private partnerships (PPP) in the Caribbean appears to be the role of regional banking.

Speaking at the Regional Roundtable on Promoting Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for Local Economic Development in the Pacific in Nadi last week, Carol Ayoung, the Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Association of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry said that amongst the many players in the success of PPP in the Caribbean, the role of Caribbean Development Bank as a regional financial institution had helped in providing PPP financing.

The Caribbean Development Bank’s support to PPP financing has created interest in the Pacific. Chairman of Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) Hafiz Khan said, “The Pacific needs to emulate the Caribbean experience and work towards setting up a Regional Development Bank, with the specific goal of being able to provide not only PPP financing but also ‘seed’ funding for SME s and Women In Business.

“Lack of capital and access to financing has been identified as the major constraint in private sector development in the Pacific; with lack of collateral, expertise being key ‘down features’ negating normal finance/equity availability via the conventional institutions.”

But it has not been all rosy in the Caribbean. “In the Caribbean, public private partnerships (PPP) have been implemented with varying levels of success. PPP has succeeded where there has been a level of trust and good track record of delivery,” Ms Ayoung said. Implementing public private partnerships (PPP) requires effort, patience and is full of challenges, she added.

More than 90 private sector representatives, national and local government officials, development partners and members of the civil society from around the Pacific attended the roundtable, which the UNDP organised through the Pacific Centre and the Asia Pacific Regional Centre in Bangkok, in partnership with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation and the Pacific Leadership Programme.

Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu were represented.