Public works open to private contracts to top NT$200 bil.


TAIPEI — The value of public works designated by the government for participation by the private sector is expected to exceed NT$200 billion (US$6.39 billion) in 2011, the Public Construction Commission said Friday. The commission said the government has selected 57 public works projects worth about NT$171.3 billion to be offered to private contractors next year, and is studying other potential infrastructure development programs for participation by the private sector. Among the 57 projects are a Taichung metro system development plan, an economic and trade zone development plan for Kinmen, and four land development plans in Taipei’s Xinyi district, the commission said. The government is hoping to lower its financial burden and stimulate economic activity by encouraging the private sector to invest in infrastructure projects through a variety of business models. Under the Act for Promotion of Private Participation in Infrastructure Projects, the government offers the private sector incentives such as relaxed rules on land acquisition and preferential tax status to encourage investment. The commission said it has scheduled a conference for the end of October to unveil the public works projects for 2011 and seek private sector investment. The commission added that it has set up an office to provide assistance such as financial planning and on-the-job training to private firms interested in participating.