Storia dell'articolo

Questo articolo è stato pubblicato il 15 ottobre 2014 alle ore 15:20.


PRETORIA – The popularity of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to support infrastructure development in emerging countries is growing worldwide. The G-20 backs PPPs to boost global growth and create jobs. The BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) see them as a way to build essential infrastructure quickly and cheaply. The United Nations hopes that infrastructure PPPs will provide the means to realize its . PPPs’ new appeal may redefine not just development economics, but also the overall relationship between rich and poor countries – though not necessarily for the better.

The PPP bandwagon has three essential components: an explosion in infrastructure finance (backed by pension and other large funds); the creation of pipelines of lucrative mega-PPP projects to exploit countries’ raw materials; and the dismantling of environmental and social safeguards. Each must be carefully monitored as the use of PPPs expands.

The World Bank is already seeking to double its lending within a decade by . Its new Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) will mobilize global pension and sovereign wealth funds to invest in infrastructure as a specific asset class.

The emerging world has also been active. The BRICS recently announced plans for a (NDB) for infrastructure and sustainable development. Its first Regional Center for Africa will be based in South Africa. China will launch a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Both banks aim to offer alternatives to the US-led World Bank and the Japan-led Asian Development Bank, respectively.

Indeed, these new development-finance institutions are seen as a reaction against the Bretton Woods institutions, whose pursuit of neoliberal austerity policies and failure to reform their governance structures to share power with emerging economies, has been blamed for strangling public spending, de-industrialization, and the dismantling of national development banks.

Many emerging countries also resent the World Bank’s environmental and social safeguards, which they see as compromising their national sovereignty. In response to this criticism, the Bank is revising its safeguards and enforcement mechanisms. But weaker oversight by the World Bank would leave loan recipients to monitor and enforce environmental and social standards themselves – regardless of their resources or political will to do so –thus jeopardizing efforts to defend the rights of indigenous peoples, resettle displaced people, mitigate environmental damage, or protect forests and biodiversity.

The weakening of World Bank safeguards might also trigger a race to the bottom, pitting private or state investors, new financing institutions, and a deregulated World Bank against one another, while provoking a popular backlash. That is why it is important to have citizens’ groups that can step in to ensure that investments operate fairly. Though civil-society groups have long monitored the supply side – the project financing – they often ignore the demand side – namely, the value and impacts of the projects being implemented.

Commenta la notizia


Dai nostri archivi