Call for partnering

25 April 2008

Worldwide: Governments of developing countries need to cooperate more with the private sector to broaden the types of infrastructure projects they invest in, according to World Bank chief economist Francois Bourguignon. He told reporters at the World Bank's Annual Conference on Development Economics that the private sector is already investing in telecommunications and urban transport but the same benefits will not be felt by roads or electricity networks without stronger cooperation from the public sector.

Research by the World Bank suggests that private investment accounted for 50% of the capital invested in the fixed line phone industry of low income countries in 2004. But during the same period the private sector only contributed 18% to water and sanitation and 29% to electricity distribution. Mr Bourguignon cited the development of the highways linking northern and southern India as a good example of public-private sector cooperation.

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