3 Responses

  1. Nik Soni
    Nik Soni April 30, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Robin and Margaret – this is an excellent summary of a complex debate. I look forward to the reading the outcome of some of this research.

    I would like to add something small to the debate. I think (and it is just a guess) that for the least developed of states, especially those which have either come out of conflict or have very small undeveloped private sectors then the PPP approach can work. This is because it is sometimes hard to get more established firms to invest in these countries (I do not include the resource industries here). As a result getting a bit of leverage via a donor like IFC or whoever has two important effects. The first is in terms of getting free access to the donors investment analysis arm. Often countries do not have the human resources to properly undertake a full analysis of highly complex programs, especially in the area of infrastructure. This can be a useful tool for Government officials to deal with some of the less desirable elements of the private sector who attempt to score the “big deal’. Secondly, it can reduce the risk of investing in these countries and attract better quality investors that way.

    Having said that, in reality, the problem is that these donors often have tighter fiduciary rules than most commercial banks (which some would argue is a good thing given the current global fiasco). However, it means that the donors internal processes can be so cumbersome ironically they act to deter genuine investors and we again end up with sycophantic companies winning who have close ties to the donor Governments.

    The application of PPP’s has been so mixed that it is often a difficult policy tool to sell these days – but that may be due to poor application rather than poor theory.

  2. Bob Cogger
    Bob Cogger April 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Did you approach Barrick Gold in PNG?

    1. Margaret Callan
      Margaret Callan April 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Dear Bob,

      For this particular research we did not approach Barrick Gold about development programs associated with the Porgera Joint Venture. However, we posted a blog on Porgera in September last year and Barrick’s data for Porgera is included in my Papua New Guinea case study of mining and development about which we posted a blog in March this year.

      Margaret

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