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Malaysia’s long race to competitiveness

Laura Altinger's picture
Have you ever felt like you are in a race and each time you pass another competitor, more keep showing up ahead on the race track in an endless marathon? Well, countries striving to be competitive face a similar predicament. No matter how hard they try to improve their competitiveness, cut the red tape and reduce burdensome regulations, other countries are doing the same, but even quicker.

Malaysia is already a very competitive country. Today it ranks 18 out of 189 economies in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business Index. Yet, its ambition is to become more competitive. And it wants to overtake some countries on the way up. Malaysia has long recognized that a concerted cross-ministerial and public-private collaboration is needed to do just that.

Malaysia’s Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (PEMUDAH), was established in 2007 to improve the ease of doing business in Malaysia. Testament to its success was Malaysia’s surge to 6th position in the 2014 Doing Business, up from 12th place in 2013 and 18th in 2012, placing it in the same league as Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. But since then, Malaysia has been challenged to keep up with the rapid pace of business reforms across the globe.
 

Transparency, efficiency and quality in infrastructure projects is only a ‘click’ away

Christophe Dossarps's picture
Transparency. Efficiency. Quality. If you work with infrastructure projects, as I do, these are words you will hear all the time. Unfortunately, these concepts are familiar to us because so many projects lack them – often realized during a “lessons learned” recap of what not to do next time.

But with the new International Infrastructure Support System (IISS) - a digital platform that supports project preparation -achieving transparency, efficiency and quality in infrastructure PPPs, and traditional procurement, is within our reach.  I’ve been involved in IISS’s development for last six years and I’m inspired by this platform’spotential to transform the way infrastructure projects are prepared, financed and delivered.  Through it, we will be able to deliver more quality-infrastructure faster and improve people’s quality of life across the globe.
 
An Introducation of International Infrastructure Support System - Video produced by the Sustainable Infrastructure Foundation

 

A PPP Encore in Brazil: Two healthcare partnerships boost Bahia’s ability to care for citizens

Tomas Anker's picture

 Sometimes, the most persuasive case for a PPP is the success of a past partnership in the same sector . That’s been true in the State of Bahia, Brazil, following the Hospital do Suburbio project, which closed in 2010 with help from IFC’s PPP advisory services and has been providing people in one of the State’s poorest suburbs with access to high quality healthcare. Based on the success of the PPP in meeting state government goals for improving local health services, Bahia government officials approached IFC again to discuss a new initiative – a partnership to offer imaging and diagnostic services and facilities across the state , including to rural communities.

Just as the Hospital do Suburbio emerged from great need, people in Bahia faced a shortage of high quality and complex imaging equipment and tests. Some of these were as basic as X-rays and mammography; others demanded state-of-the-art machines and services for CT Scans and MRI tests. This fed into the Bahia’s larger public health challenges, which included low bed turnovers and overcrowded hospitals.

The partnership with the private sector was created to solve this “package” of problems.  It was undertaken in partnership with the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which together manage the Brazil PSP Program fund, a project that fosters the development of infrastructure and services in Brazil in partnership with the private sector.

How public-private partnerships can play a constructive role in global economies in 2016

Geoffrey Keele's picture

With 2015 firmly behind us, it’s time to reflect on the past year’s global economic trends -- while looking forward at the challenges and opportunities facing countries around the world. Check out the articles below for diverse and thought-provoking perspectives on how public-private partnerships can play a constructive role in global economies throughout 2016 and beyond.   

Creating a sustainable health diagnostics network for low income populations in India through private sector participation

Pankaj Sinha's picture
Mother and baby in Jharkhand of India
Credit: Video Volunteers

PPPs are all about balance: maintaining equilibrium between public and private, risk and reward, cost and impact. Understanding this balance is especially important in regions with extreme poverty, where access to infrastructure can mean life or death. I was reminded of this again while working on a PPP for the development and operation of a statewide network of advanced diagnostic facilities, including fully equipped and staffed radiology and pathology laboratories, in the Indian State of Jharkhand – an area characterized by a low average income, high tribal population, very high incidence of poverty, and little social development. Health and education indicators in Jharkhand are also markedly unfavorable in comparison to both the all-India average and the major Indian states.

A spatial odyssey: The impacts of land formalization in Benin

Markus Goldstein's picture
This post is co-authored with Michael O’Sullivan.  
Effective property rights matter for development. And heck, they even got a couple of shout outs in the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals.  And we know from earlier work that weaker rights can lead to reduced agricultural productivity.  So what happens when folks move to better property rights?  

Multilateral development banks collaborate to improve public-private partnerships: broad initiatives

Matthew Jordan-Tank's picture
In my last post, I mentioned that battle-hardened cognoscenti of the PPP industry never imagined, before the launch of the PPP Knowledge Lab, that they would be able to access all of the PPP-related resources they need on one single platform. But there’s something else that these players could not have visualized just a decade ago: the scope of the collaborations that are taking place across the entire PPP marketplace. 

Multilateral development banks collaborate to improve public-private partnerships: the PPP Knowledge Lab

Matthew Jordan-Tank's picture
As I look over the arc of my participation in the infrastructure sector with development banks, which began in the Inter-American Development Bank in Latin America in the late 1990s and has continued for the last eight years with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Eastern Europe and beyond, I realize that there is something quite unprecedented happening now in our sector.

Italy’s first water sector public-private partnership and its implications for today

Nico Saporiti's picture
Villoresi irrigation canal in Italy
Credit: Nico Saporiti

The intake of the Villoresi irrigation canal is a monumental structure of classical beauty: it tames the blue waters of the River Ticino, just below the outlet of Lake Maggiore, and quenches the thirst of 85,000 hectares of otherwise dry land to the north of Milan.

This imposing project was designed, financed, and built entirely with private capital between 1877 and 1890. A 90-year concession was granted by the King of Italy only 15 days after receiving the investment proposal from the original investors. In 1918, farmers formed a consortium of water users and took over the concession and the infrastructure.

With such a head start in the development of water sector public-private partnerships (PPPs), one would imagine that in Italy such contracts would be widespread and well known. In fact, the opposite is true, and the political debate around the meaning of private sector participation in water services is as heated, alive, and confused as ever. A leading national newspaper printed, in the same edition, one article broadly supportive of a popular movement against private involvement in water service providers, and another article denouncing a case of pollution by a (public) water company that had been discharging untreated sewage and hazardous waste in the Bay of Naples.


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