World Bank calls for next generation of P3s

Exclusive: The private sector will need to bring “new ideas” that can foster flexibility in P3s, the World Bank told P3 Bulletin.

The World Bank is looking to the private sector to innovate and contribute to defining more flexible P3s that are adjusted to the new world of Covid-19 recovery and climate change.

Following the slide in infrastructure investment during the pandemic, “there is an opportunity to bring the private sector investment back on track by thinking differently, thinking outside of the box, thinking about how the next generation of P3s can help bridge the infrastructure gap and support a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery”, said Fatouma Toure Ibrahima, the World Bank’s practice manager for PPPs in the infrastructure finance, PPPs and guarantees department.

“We have to be very conscious about flexibility, technology is changing very quickly,” she added. With questions around accelerated demand for innovative digital technologies, climate-responsive transport, the transition to greener energy supply, as well as the need to operate under deep uncertainty , the industry needs to “make sure that we can have flexible contracts that can adjust to the current world we are living in”, Ibrahima said.

The World Bank has a role to play in working with governments around the world to strengthen the enabling environment for P3s and help build pipelines of green and sustainable P3s, she continued. “The private sector can bring innovation and new ideas, but the governments have to have that capacity to implement these.

“Going forward the World Bank will continue to collaborate with countries and help build this second generation of P3s through new models and contractual provisions, while including fiscally sustainable government support mechanisms to address resilience and affordability issues.”