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​Stories from the field: World Bank-IFC collaboration on new PPP legislation in Albania

Christina Paul's picture
There is a wide range of issues to address when initiating and implementing a country’s national program for public-private partnerships (PPPs). One of the first priorities is providing an adequate legal and institutional framework to help create and/or develop a market for PPPs. In the recent case of Albania, this involved an assessment of the country’s current PPP legislation, especially in terms of its ability to attract private sector investment and generally move its PPP agenda forward.
 
IFC advised on Albania's Ashta
hydropower plant. Photo: © Energji Ashta

Particularly over the last decade, Albania has seen a number of PPP projects being implemented, most of them in the energy sector; for example, the Ashta hydropower plant on whose development the International Finance Corporation (IFC) advised. Given, however, that the country’s overall capacity and readiness to carry out PPPs has been assessed as only slightly above average (Source: Infrascope for Central and Eastern Europe 2012, The Economist Intelligence Unit), there is an apparent need to further build up and strengthen its institutional and implementation ability vis-à-vis PPPs. To this end, the Government of Albania is now focused on the further streamlining of its legal and regulatory PPP framework as one area of reform.

In February, a joint team from the World Bank and the IFC therefore participated in a review of the country’s current PPP legislation as well as the changes proposed to it, and organized a workshop for the Government of Albania. The latter focused on the institutional and legal/regulatory context essential for carrying out PPPs. Two colleagues and I represented the World Bank’s PPP group during our visit.

Over the course of a few days, we were able to offer a combined perspective on the suggested changes to the PPP legislation. We offered legal advice in terms of internationals good practice for PPP laws and/or regulations, as well as practical experience concerning the prior transactional work done by the IFC concerning PPP projects in Albania. Together, we explored a range of knowledge, lessons and potential solutions related to the operability of Albania’s current PPP law.

After this legislation will have been passed, next steps will most importantly include the development of a suite of regulations and/or bylaws clarifying essential details of the PPP law’s applicability in practice as well as further capacity building for all those intuitions involved in the different stages of a PPP lifecycle.

Going forward, we hope that the cooperation between the World Bank Group and Albania will continue both in order to advance its PPP program and to strengthen the country’s legal and institutional capacity.  

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