Public-private partnerships in transport sector discussed in GSOM
On June 2, 2017, the III Annual Research Conference "Public-Private Partnership in Transport Sector: Models and Experience" was successfully held at Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University. The event have gathered more than 120 participants: students and professors of Russian universities, representatives of federal and regional government bodies, funding organizations, private businesses etc.
The right to open the conference was granted to Konstantin Krotov, Head of Graduate School of Management and Maxim Sokolov, Minister of Transport of Russia, Head of Department of State and Municipal Management. In his welcome speech, Konstantin Krotov noted the expansion of the geographical representation of participants, among which now are not only students of St. Petersburg University and St. Petersburg transport universities, but students and researchers from Novorossiysk, Rostov-on-Don, Ulyanovsk region, the Siberian State Automobile and Highway Academy, Samara State University of Railway Transport, Irkutsk State University of Railway Transport, Higher School of Economics, Finance University of Government of the Russian Federation. The interest in the conference is not accidental; at the moment it is the one and only research and practical platform where young specialists in PPP field can test their knowledge and skills in direct dialogue and discussions with recognized experts. Maxim Sokolov, in turn, stressed the importance public-private partnerships (PPPs)' studies in higher education institutions. The significance of the conference is to help beginning specialists to study this form of interaction between the public and private sectors and to get an undistorted understanding of the bases from practitioners and experts in the field of PPP.
In his report Maxim Sokolov highlighted the current state of PPP development in the transport sector and its trends. He noted that the issues of optimal approaches for cooperation between business and the state in the context of the imminent structural reforms in the economy are one of the main topics of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum taking place in the Northern Capital these days. According to Minister, it is PPP that allows developing effective models of risk distribution when implementing infrastructure projects between state structures and representatives of the business community. Since the adoption of the legislative basis of PPP, this format of interaction with the private sector shows an increasing demand and effectiveness both at the level of federal and regional authorities. For the transport industry PPP is one of the key drivers of development, which has already made it possible to implement such large projects as Western High-Speed Diameter of St. Petersburg and the new terminal at Pulkovo Airport. However, the industry faces the most important tasks to improve legislation, interact with other federal bodies of state power when it is applied, and more efficient risk management.
This problem was the subject of the first event of the conference, PPP debates on "Risks in PPP Projects: Who Should Take and How to Manage?" moderated by Dmitry Pronchatov (Deputy Head of Rosavtodor) and Svetlana Maslova (Director of the Center for Public-Private Partnership Studies, GSOM SPbU). They proposed eleven issues for voting and discussion that concerned the allocation and prevention of financial, land, environmental, social and political risks in the implementation of PPP projects. Keynote speakers took part in the discussion: A.B. Chichkanov (former Vice-President of JSC Gazprombank) and A.V. Kiselev (Deputy Head of Department for Financing Infrastructure, VTB Capital). Among the experts: P.A. Brusser (JSC Gazprombank), R.A. Golovanov (Investments Committee of St. Petersburg), D.O. Grigoriev (Regional Development Center for PPP Khabarovsk Krai), I.N. Kargin (Committee for the Development of Transport Infrastructure, St. Petersburg), P.V. Karpunin (Capital Legal Services), A.A. Nikonov (Graduate School of Management, SPbU), O.A. Potiforova (Directorate for Development of Transport System, St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region), E.N. Semenova (Federal Road Agency), A.V. Filimonov (PMA LLC). And along with experts with significant experience in the field of PPP, students of GSOM SPbU undergraduate and graduate programs "State and Municipal Management" presented their detailed and reasoned position on the issues of PPP-debates (Zhanna Azizova, Nikita Alesenko, Margarita Arsenyeva, Anzhelika Muryshkina, Daria Sergeeva and Ivan Lapov). The discussion touched upon issues that are not easy for the theory and practice of PPP, including approaches to the very notion of risks in PPP projects, the circle of persons involved in their management, the list of the most critical risks for PPP road projects, the most effective measures and strategies for their prevention and mitigation.
The next event of the conference was the workshop "Strategies for the development of PPP in the subjects of the Russian Federation" held by S.V. Maslova. The workshop with demonstration and improvement of skills and practical methods for developing PPP development strategies in specific regions of Russia included: an objective assessment of the existing level of regional development, identification of the specifics of the region itself based on budget opportunities / constraints, infrastructure gaps, investment attractiveness, and geographic location; identification of the main barriers to the development of PPP in this constituent entity of Russian Federation, the development of directions for their overcoming and a specific schedule. The peculiarity of the workshop is that the work carried was not of an abstract nature, on the contrary, it had an intended purpose and feedback. Students of the first year of the master's program "State and municipal management" in the process of studying the discipline "Public-private partnership" under the guidance of S.V. Maslova presented several topics for discussion. They are: strategies for the development of PPP in the Moscow region (Nikita Alesenko), St. Petersburg (Valeria Kochetova), the Leningrad region (Anzhelika Murishkina), the Khabarovsk Territory (Mikhail Maksimov), and also at the federal level (Daria Sergeeva). Representatives of these regions took part in the discussion and evaluation of the developed strategies: D.V. Maskaev (Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure of the Moscow Region), R.A. Golovanov (Investments Committee of St. Petersburg), V.A. Kuznetsova (Committee for Economic Development and Investment Activities of Leningrad Region), D.O. Grigoryev (Regional Development Center for PPP Khabarovsk Region), who praised the work done by the students and shared with them and the audience their vision of PPP development at the regional level, including in the light of the region's ranking in the development of PPPs. Ivan Lapov (1st year student, Master's program) was the expert on the rating.
The final event of the conference was a plenary session devoted to the speech of representatives of the academic environment: researchers and lecturers, graduates and students. The moderator of the meeting was A.E. Ivanov (Deputy Director, Center for Public-Private Partnership Studies, GSOM SPbU). The research results of PPP in the transport sector of this year were presented by: Boris Eliseev, Angela Borzova and Nikolai Koryagin (Moscow State Technical University of Civil Aviation), Boris Palagushkin (Siberian State University of Water Transport), Bachuki Tsanava (2nd year, Master in Public Management Program, GSOM SPbU), Ramilya Savchuk (Moscow State University of Communications of Emperor Nicholay II (MGUPS / MIIT), Yulia Ikhonkina (2nd year, Master Program) Zhanna Azizova (3rd year Bachelor in Public Management Program student, GSOM SPbU), Naina Bodrovtseva (State University of Marine and River Science of Admiral Makarov), Alena Vinnik (2nd year, Master in Public Management Program, GSOM SPbU), Natalia Batalova and Natalia Zhuravleva (St. Petersburg State University of Communications of Emperor Alexander I), Tatyana Kryukova (St. Petersburg State University of Communications of Emperor Alexander I), Sofia Gromova (2nd year, Master in Public Management Program, GSOM SPbU), Boris Chirkov (4rd year student, Bachelor in Public Management Program, GSOM SPbU) and others.