Two of Latin America and the Caribbean’s biggest development agencies are planning to roll out new contracting opportunities. This is to support a recently launched program designed to further promote the use of public-private partnerships in the region.
On June 17, the Multilateral Investment Fund, or FOMIN, and Inter-American Development Bank launched a five-year, $8 million initiative that will provide technical assistance to LAC countries new to the public-private partnership model.
The Regional Public-Private Partnerships Advisory Services Program is expected to build the capacity of national and local governments and help them identify and design projects likely to attract private sector funding. The program also aims to create avenues for learning and sharing of experiences among countries in the region and beyond.
This program is an extension of FOMIN’s work in bigger Latin American and Caribbean countries such as Brazil and Mexico, where it has been supporting the development of PPPs since 2005.
By focusing this time on poorer countries in the region, FOMIN aims to help these governments become more efficient and to give them an additional means of financing their infrastructure needs, FOMIN specialist David Bloomgarden told Devex. He emphasized that the program’s goal is to position PPPs as an alternative source of financing, not as a replacement for public finance.
The new program will also specifically focus on PPPs for infrastructure projects — particularly green or environment-focused ones and those related to social services, such as the construction of clinics.
IDB and FOMIN are already processing requests from Jamaica, Colombia and Guatemala. FOMIN’s Dennis Blumenfeld told Devex the agency expects to roll out its first activity under the initiative in three or four months’ time.
Advisory services to be offered under the initiative will primarily come from private contractors. Blumenfeld said there are plans to launch an international bidding process for one or more yearlong retainer contracts that will provide services such as training and institutional development, among others.
Other activities undertaken by FOMIN to support PPP development in the region include organizing an annual conference of PPP practitioners and developing a tool that evaluates a country’s PPP investment environment. The 2010 edition of the tool, which is called Infrascope and was developed with the Economist Intelligence Unit, is available online. A new version is set to be launched in the coming months.
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