Increasing Public-Private Cooperation

By Frank-Jürgen Richter

September 22, 2023

Government and the private sector are fundamental aspects of a society. They both play distinct yet interconnected roles that are vital for the functioning and progress of a nation. Although their functions may occasionally overlap, understanding the unique contributions that each bring is essential for creating a balanced and thriving society.

Government plays the crucial role of building the framework for governance and establishing the rule of law, while the private sector is like a vital engine that drives economic growth and innovation. Providing essential public services such as education, healthcare, transportation, and infrastructure has always fallen under the purview of governments, but the private sector also plays a crucial role in it in the form of investors and knowledge-sharers.

Although distinct roles, both the sectors are required to cooperate and coordinate with each other to deliver better governance and public services, while ensuring sustainable economic growth. 

Such and many more topics will be discussed at the Horasis Global Meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Gaziantep, Türkiye between 22-23 October 2023. The meeting will bring together world’s best-known business leaders, who along with government officials and representatives from international organizations will brainstorm with senior members of the Horasis Visions Community to find solutions to critical challenges facing societies today.

Reaching Climate Goals

Climate change is one of the biggest risks that the world faces today. The loss and damage from climate change could cost developing countries a total of US$290–US$580 billion in 2030 and reach US$1–US$1.8 trillion in 2050.

The United Nations has already called for an increase in climate adaptation and mitigation funding. An estimated annual funding of US$160 billion to US$340 billion by the end of the decade, and up to US$565 billion by 2050 is needed. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “Adaptation needs in the developing world are set to skyrocket to as much as $340 billion a year by 2030. Yet adaptation support today stands at less than one-tenth of that amount.”

Climate change cannot be solved by governments alone. Private sector participation is vital to ensure climate adaptation funding is mustered before we lose any more time. Other than climate financing, the private sector can play a significant role in deterring climate change. 

By adopting sustainable practices in sourcing its supplies to minimizing waste generation from its factories, businesses can also look to invest in renewable energy as a power source, while setting emissions reduction-based strategies.

There should also be a change in mindset and outlook towards profiteering. Businesses should take a more holistic approach where profit-making is not the only goal, but active community engagement along with doing overall good should become the primary vision.

Benefitting All

PPP (public-private participation) projects require a multifaceted approach to prioritize the well-being of the people, along with ensuring returns-on-investment for private players. Governments need to ensure that the intended PPP projects deliver the desired value and outcomes for the general public which is both easily accessible and affordable. 

It is of utmost importance that a pricing strategy is developed that balances affordability for the public with profitability for the firm. Considering various pricing models, including subscription-based services, pay-per-use or government subsidies could be the way. 

Projects should also demonstrate social responsibility and sustainability by integrating environmentally friendly practices and community engagement into the service delivery. This can enhance public trust on the government and brand reputation on the private sector.

PPP projects need not always mean charity or social projects. Successful projects can achieve both financial and positive social outcomes if it has a strong mix of commitment to quality, innovation, transparency, and responsible business practices.

A Successful PPP Example

The Tu Deh-Kah Geothermal project is providing a viable green energy source to traditional indigenous people of the community. The project will repurpose a former gas field in extracting geothermal heat and transforming it into electricity, providing clean renewable energy alternative to 14,000 local community homes. After completion, the project will also help the first nation people of the north-east British Columbia to reduce GHG emissions by 25,000 tons each year.

The project has led to the creation of several employment for the local people, along with opening up viable long-term opportunities. Excess heat generated from the production of geothermal energy is also being used “in other direct applications, such as agriculture development, heating buildings and industries, and for industrial processes like food production, hydrogen production, mineral extraction and drying timber products.”

Photo Caption: Issues like climate change cannot be solved by governments alone; the private sector plays a key role.