Third meeting of the Working Group on Infrastructure Finance in Iraq
Paris, 4 - 5 November 2010
Feasibility studies and investor presentation documents will be prepared for six Iraqi infrastructure projects following the third meeting of the Working Group on Infrastructure Finance in Iraq.
The meeting included deliberations by six groups composed of international experts and senior Government of Iraq officials, each covering one of the six priority projects:
- The Grand Fao Port
- Electricity generation stations
- Sewage treatment plants
- Market complexes for agri-food product storage and distribution
- The Baghdad-Turkey highway
- Oil pipelines and related infrastructure.
The meeting also focused on the regulatory framework needed for successful public-private partnerships (PPP) – one of two forms of extra-budgetary infrastructure finance identified by experts as suitable for Iraq:
- Public-private partnerships
- Development bank loans.
Discussion of PPP regulatory frameworks drew on core OECD instruments such as the OECD Principles for Enhancing Integrity in Public Procurement and the OECD Principles for Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure.
The high-level Iraqi officials present at the Working Group meeting expressed their satisfaction at reinforced support for the priority projects by participating international and governmental organizations, and called for intensified work by the expert groups prior to the fourth meeting of the working group, planned for March 2011.
The Working Group on Infrastructure Finance in Iraq
- Has been coordinated by the MENA-OECD Investment Programme since November 2009
- Is charged with making recommendations on priority infrastructure projects and preparing related PPP proposals or development bank loan applications
- Aims to assist the Government of Iraq in accessing extra-budgetary sources of finance for essential projects that would be delayed or shelved if they depended solely on government revenue
- Emphasises the importance of an appropriate regulatory framework for PPP
- Has mobilized 11 Iraqi ministries and agencies through the Office of the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Infrastructure, as well as international experts from OPIC, Coface, the Islamic Development Bank, the OECD, MIGA, and the World Bank.
The MENA-OECD Investment Programme partnership with Iraq
- Was first launched in October 2007 following a request from the Government of Iraq
- Is implemented in close collaboration with the private sector, and supported by a broad range of governments and development agencies
- Aims to promote private sector development and build government capacity to attract foreign investment, contributing to the development of a stable economy
- Has two main fields of activity:
- The infrastructure finance working group
- Capacity building for the Iraqi National Investment Commission (NIC)
- Capacity building for the NIC focuses on:
- The NIC one-stop shop for investor services
- The Iraqi Investment Law
- Training for GoI officials in the negotiation of investment agreements and in investor-State dispute settlement
- Support for a national investment strategy, including investment zones
- The integration of GoI officials into regional and international networks
- Raising awareness of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention with a focus on integrity in public procurement.
Opening remarks and overview presentations
Overview of the process and Activities of the Expert Groups to Date – Mr. Carl Dawson, Iraq Project Coordinator, MENA-OECD Investment Programme
Session 1: Translating Public-private partnerships Principles into Reality
Key elements of a public-private partnership regulatory framework – Mr. Alexander Böhmer, Head of Unit, MENA-OECD Investment Programme
Implementing key features of public-private partnerships: case studies from Turkey (Arabic) Mr. Mehmet Uzunkaya, State Planning Organization, Turkey
Session 3: Parallel Meetings of the Expert Groups – Expert Group on the Baghdad-Turkey Highway
Public-private partnership in highway projects in Iraq: problems and recommendations – Mr. Falah Mustapha, Business Development Consultant, Abu Dhabi
Final Declaration and Action Plan