The conference was held in the Westin Zagreb Hotel and attended by more than 150 participants from public and private sector from Croatia and neighbouring Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In his opening remarks Mr. Radimir Čačić, Principal Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia and Minister of Economic Affairs has stressed that “the Government recognize the PPP model as a key instrument for accelerated investment in the different sectors and investment growth for about 7,4% or 8 billion kn in this year”. He has announced the investment in the field of education and considered the significant potential in other sectors, particularly in energy. The Managing Director of the Agency Mr.Kamilo Vrana also believes in a good perspective of this model, since all the essential preconditions for the implementation, referring to the necessary institutional and legal framework, are created.
Mr. Mark Romoff, the President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships presenting the Canadian experience in PPP, according to which Canada is one of the most respected country in the world, has stressed that the construction of the infrastructure based on this model began in the early nineties. The well-developed networks of the regional and local agencies dealing with PPP and very significant support from the state level have contributed to their success. The basic model of PPP, which they apply include the design, building, financing and maintenance (DBFM), taking into account the transparency and involvement of public opinion, and choosing the best international or national partners for project implementation. Furthermore, attention is paid on time of preparation so that the average period from the publication of calls for proposals to the financial close is somewhat shorter than 16 months. Currently, in various stages of implementation are 160 projects in 11 sectors, mostly in health care and transportation. The success of such infrastructure development in Canada’s provinces and major cities can also be seen through the high public support (70%).
The presented Canadian experience might be encouraging for Croatia, since there are all important pre-conditions in place with a strong political will for development at national and local level, as emphasized Mr. Čačić.