While western economies blow hot and cold over the merits of PPPs, many Middle East countries are embracing this alternative to conventional government procurement. Kuwait is prominent among the first movers in this emerging sector. Kuwait introduced its own PPP law in 2008, with guidelines administered by the Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) and developed in consultation with the World Bank. Kuwait is taking a professional approach to bringing projects to market. Unlike some of its neighbours who have announced PPP schemes with little advance planning, Kuwait is endeavoring to approach projects in a methodical manner. Every project must undergo a feasibility study stage and be approved by a ministerial higher committee under the chairmanship of the Ministry of Finance before entering the procurement stage. Furthermore, the PTB is required to engage professional advisers to ensure, as far as possible, that projects are structured to attract the international investment community.
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This article originally appeared in PPP Bulletin International on September 14, 2011.