USAID experts highlight investment opportunities in public-private partnership projects

With the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the U.S. Department of State, the technical staff of the General Directorate of Public-Private Partnerships received a two-day training on “International Best Practices in Strengthening the Internal Capacity of PPP Units.

The training included the participation of David Alvarez, first director of the Puerto Rico PPP Authority, one of the first centralized PPP government agencies in the Caribbean. Also participating were consultants Samuel Franco, president of Infravest Strategies, a consulting firm in Austin, Texas; Schafik Collazo, first PPP director of El Salvador; and in the moderation, Adam Al-Sarraf, attorney advisor of the CLDP and Izalia López, director of Promotion of the DGAPP.

For two days, USAID and CLDP experts shared valuable information on the challenges of PPP Units in the region, according to international standards and the proper management of internal control with staff from the various sub-directorates and departments of the DGAPP, an entity that currently works and structures about 10 public-private partnership initiatives in various sectors of the economy.

On compliance issues, the training program included the participation of local experts, who have also served as consultants to the General Directorate of Public Procurement (DGCP).

David Álvarez and the expert consultants congratulated the DGAPP for the great progress achieved and valued the new technical structure that the institution has, which he said augurs well for the structuring and execution of projects that will have an impact on Dominican society.

Álvarez pointed out that this PPP unit created in the DR could be one of the best in the region with the great responsibility of closing the infrastructure investment gap that exists in the different countries.

“There is a great appetite in the world to invest and there is a lot of capital to deploy in infrastructure, which brings great opportunities for PPPs,” said Alvarez and pointed out that there are US$120 trillion of private capital in the world in search of supporting infrastructure projects, which he said is an opportunity for the DGAPP to attract investment to priority projects for the country.

The expert said that in the region PPP units have multiplied with strong support from multilateral entities and there is a lot of competition at the regional level to attract investment so the Dominican Republic must have specialized institutions, such as the DGAPP, capable of attracting these investment flows that seek safe, transparent projects with guaranteed profitability.

“You have a great opportunity because investors continue to face a fundamental problem and that is the poor structuring that occurs in some countries,” said Alvarez.

He pointed out as an important challenge to develop well-structured projects that guarantee the investment of domestic and foreign private agents.

The good structuring of the projects is what guarantees that investors are interested in putting their capital in the infrastructure projects that the country needs for its development and sustainability”, said the expert, pointing out that El Salvador, Colombia and Honduras are the countries in the region that attract more investment through PPP projects.

The experts insisted that PPP units must have sufficiently qualified personnel to guarantee transparent, reliable and favorable processes for both the public and private sectors.

Cooperation
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the U.S. Department of State expressed their commitment to support the training and specialization processes in PPP matters to the General Directorate of Public-Private Partnerships (DGAPP), in order to strengthen its technical capacities in the structuring processes of successful initiatives that benefit the country.

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