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Belarus looks to build on PPP growth

At a UN committee session last week, Belarusian officials told European counterparts they sought to deepen ties on infrastructure development, state media said.

Belarus is interested in expanding its cooperation with the UN Economic Commission for Europe to develop PPPs, according to state media.

A UNECE project implemented between August 2013 and November 2015 aimed to strengthen the country’s capacity to deliver PPP projects. At a UNECE Committee on Innovation, Competitiveness and Public-Private Partnerships session held in Geneva last week, committee members received an evaluation determining the project “achieved all planned results”, including the adoption of a PPP law in December 2015.

Belarus's deputy economy minister, Pavel Utyupin, who led the country’s delegation, met with UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary Andrey Vasilyev to discuss cooperation on infrastructure development, the state-owned Belarus Telegraph Agency reported. Utyupin proposed widening its work with the commission on PPPs.

The country turned towards PPPs after the 2008 financial crisis drove up the country’s debt, limiting its ability to fund infrastructure projects, the UNECE report states. The commission drafted a PPP readiness assessment, which was released in February 2013.

The UNECE project, called “Capacity Development to Support the Implementation of Public-Private Partnerships in Belarus”, was launched later that year. It was financed with €1 million from the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood Partnership Initiative, which aims to deepen relations between Europe and several post-Soviet states, and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in Belarus.