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Almost half of local government investments will be implemented as PPP

     
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Almost half of local government investments will be implemented as PPP
Almost half of local government investments will be implemented as PPP

A dozen projects are carried out every year in Poland as Public-Private Partnerships. Meanwhile, cooperation between businesses and local governments is the key to regional development and innovation in the economy. However, forecasts of the Ministry of Development are promising and indicate that by 2020 the value of projects implemented as PPP will increase by 45% – from 5.6 billion to 11.5 billion PLN. Currently, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) plays an important role in the implementation of tasks of strategic importance for local governments.

- The partnership of businesses and local governments, in order to be effective, should look like the relation between BGK and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, Polish Agency for Investment and Trade, Polish Development Fund or Export Credit Insurance Corporation. Together, we create a group of institutions supporting the development of Poland. The role of BGK in this field is the most significant due to the scale of our business, - says Włodzimierz Kocon, Vice President of BGK.

In Poland, Public-Private Partnerships have gradually become increasingly popular, although we are still far behind the main European powers. Since 2009, more than 3500 ideas for PPP projects have emerged in Poland. 113 contracts have been concluded, and their total value exceeds 5.6 billion PLN. Forecasts of the Ministry of Development show that due to the introduction of facilitations (e.g. amendment of the Act on concessions for construction works or services), by 2020 the value of PPP projects will increase by 45%, reaching 11.5 billion PLN. Currently, BGK plays an important role in the implementation of tasks of strategic importance for local governments.

- BGK not only offers instruments, but also provides advice on what instruments are most favourable for a town in reaction to a given project or investment need. We offer classic loans, finance local governments, providing funds for the implementation of various investments in the form of repayable instruments. BGK manages the Payments Fund, which will finance projects in the field of social and communal housing. Loans help to finance various projects of local governments, from very small, e.g. associated with the renovation of schools, to those on an enormous scale, - says Kocon.

BKG provides financial assistance to local governments implementing thermomodernization and renovation projects, supports the creation of social housing, apply payments from the budget to interest on loans for removing the effects of floods or hurricanes, co-finances municipal investments in real estate and supports the dynamics of investments in infrastructure projects.

- One of the recent examples is a contract recently signed with the local government in Kraków, under which BGK co-finances the construction of the Łagiewnicka Road -” suggests Włodzimierz Kocon.

BGK provides support in the amount of 298 million PLN (approx. 69.3 million Euro). The construction of the Łagiewnicka Road, a dual carriage way section of the ring road with a length of 3.7 kilometres along with tunnels and a new tram line with a length of 1.7 kilometres, is a key investment that according to the assumptions will reduce traffic congestion and improve safety in Kraków. The completion of the construction is planned for 2020.
 
- We also gave equity instruments. The Bank has created several investment funds. At least two of them, the Municipal Fund and Local Government Investment Fund, have been designed to support the cooperation with local governments and provide them with capital for various projects, - says Kocon.

The Municipal Fund is focused mainly on projects that serve the development of real estate assets used by municipalities for the implementation of their own tasks. They primarily include residential housing and public buildings.

- We cannot forget about the next group of financial instruments which we use in the cooperation wit local governments, namely European funds. An example would be the Jessica program, under which we have financed more than 100 revitalization projects and projects associated with the improvement of energy management in cities from 3 provinces, - emphasizes Włodzimierz Kocon.

When it comes to handling European funds, the Bank will eventually collaborate with local governments from 15 provinces, which will entrust 6.5 billion PLN to the Bank in order to support the development of entrepreneurship, labour market and revitalization projects. The implementation of European programs from the EU perspective for 2014-2020 has started this year. Approximately 9 billion PLN managed by BGK will support the economic development under this innitiative (2 billion PLN in the previous perspective).

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