For three days, leaders and experts from the public and private sectors discussed how to strengthen and expand the role of public-private partnerships (APP) to high-priority sectors such as water and sanitation, hospitals, schools, renewable energy that generate greater social impact and contribute to climate action.
During the opening, Jordan Schwartz, IDB Executive Vice President, noted that "we are facing a unique window of opportunity to forge a new generation of purposeful partnerships between the public and private sectors to close the quantitative and qualitative gap in infrastructure development and service delivery that is good business for governments, entrepreneurs and society".
Panama's Minister of Economy and Finance, Hector Alexander, and the European Union Ambassador to Panama, Izabela Matusz, also participated in the opening of the event, highlighting the multiple benefits of deepening collaboration between the public and private sectors.
Latin America and the Caribbean has proven to be a leader in attracting private investment in the infrastructure sector, surpassing East Asian countries by almost 25% over the last three decades.
Furthermore, according to the Infrascope, nearly 20 countries have the regulatory and institutional conditions for the development of APP. However, there is still a long way to go to strengthen the processes of preparation and implementation of APP projects.
The event highlighted that in order to close the infrastructure deficit and meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the region will require an additional investment of close to 3.12% of the regional GDP, which is approximately US$210 billion per year.
However, the complex macroeconomic situation of the countries in the region requires greater efficiency in public investment and the sustainable attraction of resources, innovation and knowledge from the private sector.
Countries such as Brazil (State of São Paulo), Chile, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic presented their APP project portfolios for the coming years to potential partners in order to attract private investment for the development of their infrastructure plans.
IDB officials announced that they will be promoting APP projects in the Amazon countries. This effort is part of Amazon Siempre, an umbrella program that the IDB recently launched to increase impact in that region through a holistic and territorial approach.
In the framework of PPP Americas 2023, the Bank in collaboration with the Global Infrastructure Facility announced continued support to Trinidad and Tobago in the implementation of a APP project for the Port of Spain. This effort materialized with the signing of the consulting contract for the structuring of the project, which will begin work immediately.
The IDB and the Brazilian organization Semeia launched the publication: APP in Parks in Latin America and the Caribbean: findings and practical guide for partnerships, which consolidates the knowledge on structuring projects in parks in Brazil so that other governments and public agents in the region can apply it.
PPP Americas 2023 brought together high-level government authorities and renowned entrepreneurs and experts, among them: Allyson West, minister of Planning and Development of Trinidad and Tobago; Dorothy McAuliffe, Special Representative of the U.S. Global Partnerships Office; Jonathan Bernal, President (e) of the National Infrastructure Agency of Colombia; Luciene Machado, Deputy Director General of BNDES of Brazil; María Eugenia López, Magistrate President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama; Marcus Cavalcanti, Secretary of the Partnership and Investment Program of the Presidency of Brazil; Rafael Benini, Secretary of Investment Partnerships of the State of São Paulo, Brazil; Rafael Sabonge, Minister of Public Works of Panama; Salesh Asvat, National Secretary of APP of Panama; and Tania Estefany Ramírez, President of the Investment Commission of the Peruvian Congress.
During the event, IDB Invest, Scotiabank and ENSA Grupo EPM signed a financing agreement to increase access to electricity in rural communities in northeastern Panama.
In addition, the IDB and the Government of Panama presented "Gestión Transparente Panamá", a platform that is part of the regional initiative MapaInversiones, which seeks to promote transparency and accountability of public resources.
The annual meeting of the regional working group of the IDB and Asociación Latinoamericana de Instituciones Financieras para el Desarrollo (ALIDE) with national development banks was also held. This meeting focused on the structuring and financing of APP.
Translated by: A.M