On Thursday, the 27th of June, the Lebanese Association of Public- Private Partnership (PPP) cofounded by the French- based Law Firm, FIDAL, CBA Law Firm in Italy and Eptalex-Aziz Torbey Law Firm in Beirut, hosted its inaugural conference at le Gray Hotel, Beirut.
The Lebanese Association of PPP is an international NGO dedicated to support and promote the efforts of the Lebanese authorities for the reconstruction of infrastructures in Lebanon through the PPP models.
His Excellency, the President of Lebanon General Michel Aoun was represented by the Minister of Economy, Mr. Mansour Bteich and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Mr. Gebran Bassil was represented by the Director of Economic Affairs Mr. Bilal Kabalan.
Off to a great start, the attendance and participation of several high-level government officials and international experts were remarkable. The conference witnessed the valuable presence of European and Middle Eastern ambassadors, banks, private companies and major groups.
Following the national anthem and opening speech of Alexandre Rizk, the President of the Association, the conference was divided into two panels moderated by Baki Manache, French Lawyer and co-founder of the Association.
The first round table discussion’s main subject was about the success conditions of a PPP. The speakers were mainly, 1- Diala Chaar, project manager at the High Council for Privatization and PPP, Christian Jabre from KPMG, Jean Oriou from FIDAL, Joseph Bou Nader speaking for VINCI and Paolo Esposito, Italian lawyer from CBA.
The international experts discussed basic aspects of public and private cooperation and shared their experience and knowledge with the participants. Coming from legal, financial and industrial backgrounds, they highlighted on the importance of distinguishing between privatization and a PPP. They also shed the lights on the role of each party and the necessary conditions to implement an effective PPP on the basis of a long-term contract and a simple, clear, operative and stable set of rules.
Within the second part of the conference, the speakers observed the PPP opportunities in the Lebanese market especially when it comes to the infrastructure and social sectors. An opening speech was made by Ziad Hayek, past Secretary General of HCP and the current president of the World Association of PPP Units and PPP Professionals, followed by the participation of the speakers: Rita Waked, Lebanese Lawyer specialized in PPP and Joe Khoury from MAN Enterprise representing the view points of the Lebanese private sector.
In light of the new implementation prospects presented by the new PPP Law No. 48 of 2017, it has been jointly agreed that through structural reforms, cooperation, mutual-interest and good governance, Lebanon is presented with many opportunities to leverage the PPP and fulfill economic growth all on the basis of international best practices. The Lebanese Association of PPP presents itself as a common ground for national and international specialists’ cooperation all in the interest of building a new, resilient Lebanon.