Governments around the world, facing limited, indeed, ‘shrinking’ state budgets and a surge in demand for infrastructure have turned to the private sector as partners in developing public infrastructure. The demand for P3 projects has literally exploded in the past 5 years. The chief ‘mature’ markets are Canada, the U.K. and Australia. The emerging markets in the developed world include the United States where the revolution in private public partnerships will create the greatest growth market ever for this kind of infrastructure development.
This P3 trend is no less pervasive in the developing economies of the APEC region.
In of Tokyo on August 4th, 2014, METI played host to the 2014 APEC Capacity Building Seminar on Quality of Infrastructure Development and Investment. The goal of the conference organizers was to expand the participant’s knowledge of the P3 tool and to emphasize the importance of focusing on viable sustainable projects.
Among other presenters, CCCJ Chairman, Wilf Wakely spoke to APEC member delegates on the topic of P3 challenges in their countries. Wakely opened by sizing and providing a forecast of the amount of investment that will be needed to sustain Asia's regional growth. While these developmental infrastructure needs present opportunity, they are also a challenge as there is a significant gap, between the strong demand for these projects, and the public finances available to make these infrastructural needs reality.
In May of this year, at a Public-Private Partnership seminar co-organized by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) and the Embassy of Canada in Japan, experts on the subject explained that as mature P3 markets, Canada, Australia and the UK serve as good examples for other countries developing P3 systems. At the APEC event in August Wakely explained that: “Successful P3s have 3 characteristics: 1) clear, contractually defined role and responsibility differentiation between the private and the public side. 2) Clear risk sharing matrix amongst the public and private sides. 3) Clearly understood financial goals for the private side against the delivery of a specified output".
Wakely went on to add that “in most of the ‘developing’ APEC member states, a new layer of formidable challenges must be taken into consideration; for in these countries investors and proponents must confront on the one hand serious legal/institutional and governance issues including corruption while at the same time the need to accommodate fundamental societal goals which in the poorer nations include access to reliable basic infrastructure and social services including basic water, sanitation, and electricity while in more developed economies the emphasis shifts to further, higher degrees of sophisticated infrastructure to support greater development/expansion of local industry to supply its own economy and for export. “All of this is referred to by the rubric ‘capacity building’ an issue which strongly affects all aspects of P3 design and implementation“ said Wakely.
The CCCJ continues to involve in business issues which promote Canadian expertise around the world.