PPP – Public-Private Partnerships – and its key elements and benefits are introduced by Sharifah Hamzah, a Senior Associate with Bennett Jones (Gulf) LLP, who believes that the general public that should benefit from Public-Private Partnership infrastructure investments.
Infrastructure investments have traditionally been undertaken by governments as they are considered to be the guardian of public interest.
However certain countries which are going through phenomenal economic growth in a short time span find that this puts tremendous pressure on their infrastructure – particularly with respect to waste management, water treatment and supply, transportation and power.
In order to cope with the increasing demands on existing infrastructure, whilst taking into consideration budgetary constraints, some Governments have turned to PPPs in order to meet their mega infrastructure needs. This requires a clear commitment of these Governments to allow the private sector to enter into areas which were considered the exclusive public domain.
Ultimately, it should really be the general public that should benefit from Public-Private Partnerships, especially from the investment into advanced technology, better quality and managed projects.
PPPs should not just be about financial strategy. Governments should promote PPP projects that contribute to sustainable development and protection of the environment as a key priority. In addition, the PPP contractual obligations should also factor in corporate social responsibility requirements on the PPP private sector investor.
Sharifah Hamzah is a Senior Associate with Bennett Jones (Gulf) LLP and is based in its office in Doha, Qatar. Bennett Jones is an international law firm with particular strengths in oil and gas, renewable energy and clean-tech, financial services, infrastructure and project development, as well as arbitration and disputes resolution. Sharifah Hamza has worked in Qatar for 7 years and prior to that worked in leading law firms in Malaysia for 17 years. She has particular expertise in dealing with utilities and major infrastructure projects including expressways, bridges, airports, ports, marinas, solid waste treatment facilities, transmission lines, property development and hospitals. She has advised clients on construction and PPP projects in Malaysia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
She advised the concessionaire of Kuala Lumpur International Airport on various concessions (BOT) in relation to the provision of airport facilities and services. She also advised the concessionaire of Subang Skypark Regional Aviation Hub project in Malaysia. She advised contractors and subcontractors in the Hamad International Airport project in Qatar, the Muscat International Airport and Dubai International Airport expansion.
Sharifah Hamzah has an LLB degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and was called to the Bar of England and Wales and admitted as a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 1989. She was called to the High Court of Malaysia as an Advocate & Solicitor in 1991.