Study Mission on "Public-Private Partnerships"
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) organized, during the period 25-29 January 2012, a study mission on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for a delegation of senior Iraqi officials to Istanbul, in partnership with the Istanbul Commerce University and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The delegation consisted of 16 officials and witnessed the participation of prominent decision-makers from the Government of Iraq, including the Secretary-General of the Iraqi Council of Ministers, Vice-Ministers, Parliamentarians from both the Federal and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) parliaments, a Governor, an Advisor to the Prime Minister, several Director Generals and private sector representatives. The aim of the Study Mission was to share the experience and best practices of Turkey's public-private partnership strategies and implemented projects, as well as inform the delegates on the legal background and application procedures of the PPP model in Turkey.
This Study Mission took place in the context of Phase I of the Project on "Public Sector Modernization Programme" implemneted by various United Nations Agencies since 2010. As part of this project, the Study Mission complements the efforts of the United Nations agencies to modernize the infrastructure sector in Iraq, by providing technical assistance to create development through participative partnerships.
The Istanbul Commerce University, through its Foreign Trade Institute, was the best placed to partner with the UN Agencies for this task. Indeed, the University identified and facilitated visits to the sites of PPP projects in Istanbul proper and its surroundings areas, such as the Ataturk Airport, the Gebze Industrial Zone as well as some facilities of Istanbul's Metropolitan Municipality. The visit exposed participants to success models of PPP covering water, waste management, health and transportation sectors. The delegation was also welcomed by the Istanbul's Chamber of Commerce, which hosted an opening dinner. The visit received wide media attention and was launched through a Press conference on 24 January 2012 held at the premises of the Istanbul Commerce University.
In the opening session of the Study Mission, Dr. Ali Muhsin Ismaiel ALLAQ, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers of Iraq said in reference to Iraqi and Turkish relations "Our partnership has developed rapidly and reached the top level in trade [...]. The organization of this conference will make a contribution to the Private-Public partnership (model) and we will take advantage of the experience of Turkey." The mission succeeded in sensitizing all members of the delegation on the importance of PPP in public sector modernization initiatives and in the provision of services to constituents. The mission allowed the identification of a series of recommendations to enhance the legal and procedural frameworks with the aim of facilitating and instigating PPP initiatives in Iraq.