It is no longer sustainable for governments to be the sole provider of investment in infrastructure to meet demands of a growing population in the Middle East, said Director General of the Department of Economic Development of Dubai, Mohamed Ali Alabbar.
“We are currently in the midst of a crucial transformation in the role of the government as the sole owner and supplier of infrastructure facilities,” said Alabbar. “It is critical that private sector investment must grow to meet this demand leading to the development of more meaningful and deep-rooted partnerships between the government and private sector.”
Alabbar opened the Middle East Infrastructure Development Congress (MEIDC) on September 21, 2003, which is being held concurrently alongside the World Bank and IMF meetings. He stressed the crucial need for international and local private sector investment in infrastructure development in order to meet the demands of the projected growth in the region.
“About 70 percent of the region’s population is expected to move to urban areas by 2020 in comparison to the current 30 percent,” said Alabbar. “In order to meet the growing demands on the infrastructure of the cities, the Middle East will need investment to the tune of $300-400 billion in infrastructure projects in the next couple of years,” he added.
He pointed out that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had already recognized the need to create strong private/public partnerships and also leverage the surge in regional liquidity. He said that the greatest beneficiaries of such partnerships were the power and water sectors with several Build Operate Transfer (BOT) type projects such as the ones in Umm al-Nar, Taweelah and Shuweihat in Abu Dhabi. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )