President Remengesau is advocating for more use of public-private partnerships (PPP) to meet Palau’s infrastructure needs to spur economic growth.
In his keynote remarks yesterday at the 4th Economic Symposium, Remengesau stated that PPP will ensure economic development, alleviate the burden on the government to finance major capital improvements but at the same time assures efficiency and increased involvement of private sectors in the development.
In a PPP, government contracts with private investors to take on some combination of designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining public infrastructure projects.
“For this reason, I am prioritizing the use of public-private partnerships, which offer substantial benefits to the private sector, the government and the public at large. Through such partnerships, public services previously provided or even monopolized by the government can be opened up to the private sector,” Remengesau stated.
He added that a PPP can supplement limited public sector capacities to meet the growing demand for infrastructure development in the country.
“These partnerships offer the private sector access to new and profitable business opportunities, while alleviating the burden on the government to finance major capital improvements,” Remengesau stated.
Tourism is Palau’s center of economy and that according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released yesterday recommends building of infrastructure to attract high-end tourism.
The president said Palau is already heavily involved in negotiations with a Japanese consortium concerning a possible public-private partnership to upgrade and expand the international airport in Airai.
The project, he said, is supported by the Japanese government through a possible assistance in the form of funding for the project through one of its public agencies, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“As you know, the airport is the very first experience visitors have when they come to Palau. A new and improved facility is an important step in steering Palau towards becoming a truly high value destination,” he stated. [/restrict]