The first Australia-Japan Public-Private Policy Dialogue was established by the AJBCC as a result of a suggestion by its Japanese colleagues in 2011. It emanated from the extensive work the AJBCC had done in promoting Australia-Japan opportunities for partnering in the infrastructure field since 2008.
The purpose of this meeting, which involved both the private sector and Government officials from Japan and Federal and State Governments from Australia, was aimed at:
- Encouraging and facilitating Japanese participation in Australia’s infrastructure programme
- Encouraging and facilitating Australian participation in Japan’s infrastructure programme
- Collaborating together in improving infrastructure in the Asian region
These meetings were designed to exchange information on:
- how the infrastructure sector operates in both countries
- possible areas of cooperation
- exposure of impediments which could be mitigated by policy alterations
- boosting the level of industry awareness in both countries.
The policy dialogue has been held either in Australia or Japan. The most recent one, the fifth, was held in Sydney in October 2014.
As a result of the AJBCC’s promotion and activities, an increasing number of major Australian infrastructure projects that have come to market have had Japanese participation in the bidding process or have seen Japanese companies being successful consortium tenderers. Japanese banks are also significant participants in debt syndicates for infrastructure projects.
In Japan, the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) Law, under which public-private partnerships operate, has been amended to introduce a concession system which permits the private sector to manage public facilities. The importance of private sector participation in public infrastructure is recognized in Japan and Government initiatives to foster this are under discussion.
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