(QCOSTARICA) Still seen with suspicion in Costa Rica, public-private partnerships (PPPs) is a model recognized worldwide as a catalyst for developing economies.
There are several reasons that could explain why such alliances have not been used more fully, some experts say don’t work, in the country.
Shortcomings in the regulatory framework, lack of political will and public capacity to plan and monitor partnerships are recognized locally weak areas.
A report called Infrascopio (Infrascope), prepared by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Fondo Multilateral de Inversiones (FOMIN) at the World Bank outlines the reasons why the legal concept of partnerships between state agencies and private businesses is not thriving in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is listed as a “barely emerging” country in the development of these partnerships, according to the fourth edition of the report, which assesses the ability of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to conduct public-private partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure .
Among 19 countries studied, Costa Rica is ranked at position 10 with a score of 39 points (out of 100). In the region, Chile tops the list with 76.6 points.
To date, it has been the transport sector which has been taking benefit of PPPs, awarding concessions to build projects that include toll roads, airports and seaports.
One of the most recent case of a PPP is the US$170,000 investment by Cuestamoras Urbanismo to build the railway San Francisco de Heredia railway station platform. The construction took place after a cooperation agreement was signed with the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) – railway, the latter contributing the land, among other items.
Aitor Llodio, executive director of the Aliarse foundation, told Elfinancierocr.com that “…’Most alliances in Costa Rica have been very shortsighted, almost philanthropic, more unidirectional, where the private sector puts in the money and the public sector its contacts. There are opportunities here. We have the challenge of empowering them even more’.”
See “The legal dimension of public-private partnerships in Costa Rica ” (In Spanish) and “Infrascope Report “.