5th SAUDI CONFERENCE of PROJECT MANAGEMENT

5th Saudi Conference of Project Management and PPP

ASSESSMENT OF SAUDI COUNCIL OF ENGINEERS MEETING HELD IN RIYADH

I was a participant of the 5th Saudi Conference of Project Management and PPP, which was held by Saudi Council of Engineers on May 4 and 5. First of all, I would like to congratulate SCE for this conference, which is quite comprehensive and well-prepared. I also would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the organizers for inviting me to this conference.

There were 4 important panel discussions and many keynote speeches during the conference for two days. In these crucial parts of the conference, participants discussed different experiences in this field. Besides, the role that PPPs could play within the scope of Vision 2030 plan of Saudi Arabia was among the issues that were discussed.

In a panel discussion titled “PPPs and their contribution to development”, I had chance to share successes of Turkey in PPP projects in recent years. On the second day, I also made a presentation on importance and effectiveness of the PPP center in a session titled “PPP projects in terms of law and administration”.

The first day of the event was important in the sense that Ministry of Housing of Saudi Arabia and his team expressed their positive approach to PPP projects and their expectations from these projects. High level of participation until the end of the second day of the event and effective management of SCE meant a lot for the future of PPPs in Saudi Arabia.

On the outputs of the program;
  • Many authorities, particularly the Ministry of Housing, are closely interested in PPPs
  • Lessons learnt from projects, which have been carried out in cooperation with private sector in the past, offers an insight for the future. Petrochemistry center project is one of the most important examples at this point.
  • Important discussions are still ongoing about the aforementioned project and about public-private sector partnership especially in construction of council housings.
  • Participants express concern about confusion over similarities and differences between privatization and PPP model that is considered to be a new concept.
  • With the aim of choosing the best model for construction of council housings, a comprehensive workshop is planned to be held before the end of 2016, in which consultants, public officials and building contractors, who have different experiences, will participate.
  • It is discussed that benefiting from Turkey’s experiences in TOKİ will be a facilitating factor to choose the right model.
  • Positive developments in establishing a body of rules which set a framework for importance of legal processes and cooperation with private sector.
Here are the primary steps that need to be taken at this point:
  • A common language is necessary to be determined by especially public sector side before a comprehensive PPP program is determined.
  • This common language also makes capacity enhancement of public officials obligatory. Therefore, training programs should be implemented. 

A common communication strategy is necessary so that PPP projects would comply with Vision 2030 and necessary support would be received from public.

  • Difference between privatization and PPP should be clarified as this has frequently been mentioned in the meetings.
  • Guarantee mechanisms should be discussed, which will facilitate the process of finding resource for big projects, by increasing credibility of private sector.

Three main processes should be considered within the scope of Vision 2030:
  • Creating a PPP program
  • Project Management
  • Tender bids and operation
  • Similar PPP experiences of different countries should be carefully examined and main purpose should be to avoid repeating mistakes which will cause loss of time.
  • As all PPP projects require strict attention, it is important to meticulously carry out VfM and feasibility studies for each project.
  • It is also important to understand the importance of works of SCE and to support works of independent institutions that work in this field.
  • It is crucial to support SCE conferences and similar programs, and to participate to international conferences in capacity enhancement frequently. It is also crucial to develop an information flow mechanism which will make experience sharing among different institutions continuous.

I briefly mentioned the notes I have taken in this fertile conference which lasted 2 days. I would like to thank and congratulate all SCE directors and especially the President of the Council for offering us the opportunity of being a part of this conference. I hope these steps will lead to great successes and contribute to PPP journey of Saudi Arabia.

 

Eyup Vural Aydın, Ph.D.


Presentations:

Session 1:  Local and international successful experiences in PPP
Topic: Turkish Experiences with PPP Projects

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Session 2:  Legislative and organizational environment for PPP contracts
Topic: Organizational Structure of PPPs

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