PPP Should Return to Its Original Goals

Interview with Dr. Wang Shouqing

Professor and Chief Expert
Center for Public-Private Partnership
Tsinghua University, China

Interviewed by Yu Yanjuan
Journalist, Project Management Review: PMR (China)


Journalist’s notes

Public Private Partnership (PPP) has witnessed roaring growth in China since 2014. What does PPP mean in China? What are the challenges behind the PPP heat? What factors should PPP participants pay special attention to? What about the future of PPP in China?

With those questions in mind, we are so honored to have an interview with Dr. Wang Shouqing, professor in Tsinghua University, Chief Expert at Center for Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Tsinghua University. Hailed as “PPP Godfather”, he has been dedicated to PPP research, teaching, training and practice in China for more than two decades. His efforts and selfless dedication for promotion of PPP have paid off with fruitful academic accomplishments. We extend sincere gratitude and respect to him for his generosity to share forward-looking views with us and for his commitment and devotion to promote regulated PPP practice in China.



Q1: As a top expert on PPP, would you please offer us a brief introduction to PPP in China?

Wang Shouqing: By definition, PPP in China is slightly different from that in other countries. In China, PPP means cooperation between government and social capital (official term, including both private and government-owned companies which have independent debt liability).

By the end of 2017, total investment of PPP since 2014 has amounted to 18,200 billion, making China the largest PPP market in the world. I believe we should promote PPP step by step on a gradual basis. Though regulated PPP is one of the best delivery approaches of public projects, we are not supposed to take it as a master key to all projects.

Due to the large population and developing stage of China, the PPP market in China is huge and will be long lasting if PPP meets the central government’s objectives of applying PPP, e.g. to provide more and better public goods/services, solve government budget constraint and reduce government debt, improve efficiency and achieve Value for Money.

Q2: Aside from difference in definition, are there other differences between PPP in China and PPP in western countries?

Wang Shouqing: According to my observation, they also have different understandings about PPP principles and essentials. For example, PPP in China puts more emphasis on process while PPP in western countries is more results-driven. Our financing for PPP projects is mainly based on credit (corporate finance) while in western nations PPP is mainly on project finance. In China, we don’t have a unified governing body for PPP. In the initial stage of PPP development, local governments take PPP approach for almost all (if not all) public projects while  PPP is just one of various approaches for public projects in the west.

Q3: What are the challenges or barriers that PPP faces in China? In which direction should we make more efforts?


To read entire interview, click here


Editor’s note: This interview was first published in PMR, Project Management Review magazine, China.  It is republished here with the permission of PMR. The PM World Journal maintains a cooperative relationship with PMR, periodically republishing works from each other’s publications. To see the original interview with Chinese introduction, visit PMR at http://www.pmreview.com.cn/english/