UKTI reveals country investigating PPP models to finance hospital buildings programme

Libya’s provisional government is planning to build “at least” seven new hospitals and refurbish scores more, UK Trade & Investment revealed this week.

In a roundtable discussion chaired by Edward Oakden, the managing director of the UKTI’s sectors group, Oakden listed investment in healthcare at the top of the National Transitional Council’s list of investment priorities.

He said the country was investigating forms of public private partnerships (PPP) to finance the proposed hospital buildings programme, adding that British firms should consider visiting Libya now to establish relationships with clients.

UKTI organised the briefing ahead of a conference for companies seeking work in north Africa held on Thursday.

“They [the authorities] are certainly thinking about at least seven new hospitals and refurbishing many others,” Oakden said. “There is a substantial need and a
longer-term opportunity.”

He added that primary healthcare and trauma units were also planned and said that the country is likely to implement a form of PPP to procure healthcare buildings despite its enormous oil wealth.

He said: “It is likely that they would need to look at means of financing that aren’t direct financing,” he said.

The Libyan authorities are continuing to examine the validity of contracts struck under the Gaddafi regime because of concerns over corruption but Oakden said this process was not being used as an “excuse” not to pay British firms owed money.

He emphasised the importance of infrastructure and construction in general in Libya and urged companies to visit to build up contacts and expertise even though large contracts won’t be struck until after elections in June.

“What you can be absolutely sure about is that your competitors are already doing that,” he said.

Other countries highlighted by UKTI as opportunities for the British construction industry include Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.