The State of PPPs: Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships in Emerging Markets & Developing Economies 1991-2015


Fernanda Ruiz-Nunez and Clive Harris


Ruiz-Nunez, Fernanda and Clive Harris. “The State of PPPs: Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships in Emerginy Markets and Developing Economies 1991-2015.” World Bank Group and PPIAF. June 2016.


World Bank Group and PPIAF


June 2016


This report examines broad P3 investment trends in emerging and developing economies from 1991-2015. The report focuses on the factors behind growth and decline in infrastructure investment through a discussion of the use of financial instruments, the role of government support, multilateral development bank assistance and procurement processes, and finally considers the overall readiness of countries to implement P3s. Infrastructure plays a key role in economic growth, development and poverty reduction. As emerging and developing economies face growing demand for infrastructure, P3s will play a crucial role in improving efficiencies in delivering public services – a key aspect of narrowing the infrastructure gap.

Key Findings

  • Use of public-private partnerships as a vehicle of infrastructure investment has grown in absolute terms since 1991, with notable expansion from 1991-1997 and from the mid-2000s to a peak record investment in 2012.
  • There was a period of contraction following the Asian financial crisis, however the 2008 economic crash did not hinder growth of P3 usage because many governments increased the public share of project financing.
  • The growth cycle of P3 investments in developing economies are largely influenced by the following countries: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and Turkey.
  • A significant number of P3s (23%) originate through unsolicited proposals, which is concerning in the context of transparent project selection and procurement.
  • Evidence suggests quality institutions and regulations impact the growth of countries’ P3 markets.
  • For P3s to play a prominent role in the post-2015 development agenda—for example in supporting the sustainable development goals (SDGs)—P3 investment as a percentage of GDP must increase, which will require the strengthening of institutional and regulatory frameworks and the growth of P3 markets in emerging markets outside of the top five mentioned above.

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