Vietnam embarks on PPP framework with ADB-AFD help

Vietnam has entered a $3.5m agreement with French engineering company Egis and ministerial agency Adetef to boost infrastructure via a PPP framework.

Earlier this week, Egis, a French engineering state-owned company, and Adetef, an inter-ministerial agency assisting emerging economies with institutional reforms, have signed an agreement with Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) to assist the Vietnamese government in setting up a public private partnership (PPP) infrastructure investment programme.

The Asian Development Bank and the Agence Française de Development are backing the project with a co-investment totaling $3.5 million over a period of 5 years.

The technical assistance will consist in the Egis-Adetef consortium advising state agencies on behalf of the MPI. Egis and Adetef have gathered a total of 30 experts on this project, comprising 10 international experts and 20 Vietnamese experts with strong sectorial backgrounds.

“What really makes the difference when Adetef comes in on a project is usually the diversity of experts involved and most importantly how complementary the different expertise are. We often work on a consortium basis which enables us to adapt to the specific demands of our international partners”, said Adetef.

The technical assistance consultancy team will provide recommendations on PPP strategy, including screening of sound PPP projects, as well as institutional and sector issues. Sectors involved will include energy, transport, education, health, and water/ sanitation. The assistance will extend to economic, financial and legal advice, with knowledge transfer and capacity building of government counterparts – both at MPI and the state agency levels – given a strong focus.

“The balance to strike between public and private sectors’ input in PPPs, away from strong lobby interference, makes for a very complex task. We are happy to help our Asian friend succeed with it”, said Gilles Pequeux, international business director at Egis.

“Vietnam is lucky in the sense that in terms of infrastructure, everything is yet to be done and we come at an opportune time to avoid the country falling into the pitfalls that some emerging economies have given into. A country like France with its long history of both traditional procurement and concessions can bring the necessary experience and perspective to overcome the challenges ahead”, Pequeux added.

Over the past 20 years, Egis has participated in more than 22 projects, for a total value of €12 billion, in Europe, Asia and Australia. It acts as an investor-partner within multi-company consortia bidding for such projects as well as an equity investor in special purpose or concession companies – either directly or through its investment fund, Egis Investment Partners.

It also provides turnkey operating equipment integration and operation as well as maintenance activities throughout a concession’s lifespan.

Adetef is the agency for international technical co-operation of the French ministries of economy, finance and sustainable development. It aims at helping partner countries with institutional reforms by pooling experts in these three sectors.