The PPP Americas 2023 event organized by the IDB and IDB Invest concluded yesterday, following the successful participation of over 500 attendees from 25 countries around the world. Over the three days of the conference, leaders and experts from the public and private sectors discussed how to bolster public-private partnerships (PPPs) and expand their role in high-priority sectors—like water and sanitation, hospitals, schools, and renewable energy—to achieve greater social impact and contribute to climate action.
In his welcome address, Jordan Schwartz, Executive Vice President of the IDB, noted that "we have a unique window of opportunity to forge a new generation of purposeful partnerships between the public and private sectors in order to close qualitative and quantitative gaps in the region’s infrastructure and services. And this opportunity can be advantageous for governments, businesses, and society alike."
Panama's Minister of Economy and Finance, Héctor Alexander, and the European Union Ambassador to Panama, Izabela Matusz, also participated in the opening ceremony, highlighting the many benefits of closer collaboration between the public and private sectors.
Latin America and the Caribbean has led the way in attracting private investments in infrastructure, with close to 25% more investment in this area than East Asian countries over the last three decades. And according to the Infrascope, nearly 20 countries meet the regulatory and institutional conditions required for PPPs to flourish. However, there is still much to do to strengthen the processes of preparing and implementing PPP projects.
The event highlighted that in order to reduce the infrastructure deficit and meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the region will need to invest an additional 3.12% of its GDP, or approximately $210 billion per year. But the current complex macroeconomic situation in the region means that the public sector has to invest more efficiently and countries need to sustainably attract private-sector resources, innovation and knowledge.
Countries like Brazil (State of São Paulo), Chile, Panama, Peru, and the Dominican Republic pitched their PPP project portfolios for upcoming years to potential partners to attract private investment and execute their infrastructure plans.
Meanwhile, IDB officials announced that they will be promoting PPP projects in Amazonian countries as part of Amazonia Forever, a holistic and territory-based umbrella program that the IDB recently launched to increase the impact in that region.
At PPP Americas 2023, the IDB and the Global Infrastructure Facility announced continued support to Trinidad and Tobago for implementing a PPP port project in Port of Spain. They entered into a consulting contract for structuring the project, and the firm will begin work immediately.
The IDB and the Brazilian organization Semeia launched the publication: PPPs in Parks in Latin America and the Caribbean: Findings and a practical guide for partnerships, which compiles lessons from structuring projects in parks in Brazil for other governments and public agents in the region to draw on.
PPP Americas 2023 brought together senior government officials and high-profile entrepreneurs and experts, including 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 of the National Infrastructure Agency of Colombia; Luciene Machado, Deputy Managing Director of BNDES of Brazil; María Eugenia López, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama; Marcus Cavalcanti, Secretary of the Partnerships and Investment Program of the Office of the President 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 PPPs of Panama; and Tania Estefany Ramírez, President of the Investment Committee of the Congress of Peru.
Within the framework of the event, IDB Invest, Scotiabank and ENSA Grupo EPM signed a financing to increase access to electricity in rural communities in the northeast of Panama.
At event, the IDB and Government of Panama unveiled "Gestión Transparente Panamá," a platform part of the regional MapaInversiones initiative that promotes transparency and accountability in public resources.
The regional task force involving the IDB and Latin American Association of Development Financing Institutions (ALIDE) also held its annual meeting with national development banks. This meeting focused on structuring and financing PPPs.
PPP Americas was a fully hybrid event. Over 8,000 people registered on the www.pppamericas.com platform to participate online in the different sessions.
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The IDB Group is the leading source of development finance for Latin America and the Caribbean. It helps improve lives by providing financial solutions and development expertise to public- and private-sector clients. The Group comprises the IDB, which has worked with governments for more than 60 years; IDB Invest, which serves the private sector; and IDB Lab, which tests innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth. Take our virtual tour.