Kyrgyzstan has been one of the pioneers of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in Central Asia, with the introduction of a PPP model in its legal and regulatory framework since 2009, and the most recent PPP legislation enacted in 2021. On the back of this PPP experience, the Government has launched an ambitious PPP pipeline of 56 projects to be implemented by 2026, in sectors such as energy, healthcare and transportation. The projected investment is estimated at around 1.2 billion US dollars, which would more than quadruple the current PPP investment in the country.
Ensuring the quality and sustainability of infrastructure projects and increasing the PPP capacity of public officials remain among the key priorities in Kyrgyzstan. This was the dominant recurring theme of the International PPP Conference in Bishkek, on 6 October 2022, co-organised by UNECE with the PPP Center of Kyrgyzstan, UNICEF, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The conference, which was opened by the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Kyrgyzstan Mr. Akylbek Japarov served as a platform for experience sharing and discussion on PPP development in Kyrgyzstan and as a showcase of the upcoming prospects for PPPs in the region. Over 30 speakers and more than 200 participants from national PPP authorities, international development partners, private companies and various PPP international experts engaged in discussions in 8 thematic sessions.
The UNECE’s focus on the need to embrace sustainable infrastructure that is green, circular, inclusive, resilient, fiscally sustainable and of high quality where people are the main beneficiaries was a constant theme throughout the conference. Participants recognised that in order to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, it is crucial to build sustainable project pipelines and mobilise sustainable finance from multilateral development banks and private investors.
Increasingly, debt providers and investors choose to invest in projects with the highest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) credentials. The conference highlighted the importance for governments to recognise the need to demonstrate that their projects score well against ESG principles and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This is precisely one of the key advantages of the UNECE PPPs Evaluation Methodology for the SDGs, which was launched on 27 September 2022. On 5 October 2022, UNECE organised a practical training for public officials on the use of the Evaluation Methodology on actual PPP projects in Kyrgyzstan. Over 50 public officials actively participated in this training, which focused on the UNECE approach to PPPs for the SDGs. The latter is designed to identify and implement infrastructure projects and the delivery of public services that comply with the SDGs, thus bringing “value for people” and “value for the planet”, on top of the traditional “value for money”. Evaluating PPP infrastructure projects using the UNECE Evaluation Methodology significantly increases the predictability of project delivery and reveals if a project is sustainable and contributes to the country’s SDG objectives.
The UNECE support to Kyrgyzstan is part of a capacity building project “Towards Integrated National Financing Frameworks”, jointly implemented with the Regional Commissions, UNCTAD and UN DESA.