MUSCAT: Oman’s Ministry of Finance has joined its counterparts in the wider Middle East region in backing a key regional forum that espouses the importance of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in driving infrastructure and economic growth.
The 3rd PPP MENA Forum, organised by Egypt’s Ministry of Finance and the PPP Central Unit, will take place during March 19-20, 2023 in Cairo.
Representing the Sultanate of Oman is a team of officials from the Ministry of Finance headed by Director General for Contracts and Projects - Offset & PPP, according to the organisers.
Highlighting the significance of the upcoming forum, the organisers said: “Public-private partnerships in the MENA region have seen a considerable growth across sectors, especially in the energy, infrastructure, healthcare, transportation, and education sectors. Recently, several PPP investment opportunities have been launched in the region to ensure the delivery of key services and drive socio-economic development. Over 240 PPP projects worth an estimated US$223 billion are under development in the MENA, focusing on the healthcare, infrastructure, power, and construction sectors.”
Topics slated for deliberation during the two-day event will highlight the need for effective policies for infrastructure PPP projects, governance and transparency, security of the regulatory framework, long-term private funding for national projects, and global PPP laws and best practices.
Experts will also focus on the integration of new and innovative partnership models and the launch of new projects for the region’s socio-economic growth.
For the Sultanate of Oman, the forum represents an opportunity to showcase its energetic efforts to procure a sizable portfolio of infrastructure projects and services via the PPP route.
In its 2023 Budget Statement unveiled earlier this year, the Ministry of Finance outlined plans to implement PPP ventures in the Education, Health, Transport & Logistics, Communications & IT, Fisheries, and Infrastructure sectors.
Among the biggest is a proposal to procure the development of 42 schools for the Ministry of Education. In the healthcare services sector, the Ministry plans to implement a privately funded and operated Hemodialysis Services Project envisaging the establishment of dialysis centres in a number of locations.
Also notable is a proposal for the construction of Oman’s first Truck Road project between Thamrait and Salalah City in Dhofar Governorate.
The selected developer will secure a concession to ‘Design, Finance, Construct, Operate and Maintain’ the 67-km carriageway. Other PPP schemes listed for procurement in 2023 include a National Ports Community System, a fisheries seaport and food-centric industrial complex at Liwa in North Al Batinah, a new head office for the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion; development and operation of its Invest Easy platform; and construction of new centres for the Oman Women’s Association in Muscat and Seeb.