Hayes bids to lure foreign investors with promise of less bureaucracy
OVERSEAS investors are showing signs they are prepared to invest in public private partnerships (PPP), but with assurances that bureaucracy will be slashed, according to the government.
Junior finance minister Brian Hayes told investors in London that the State was now moving away from "vanity projects" such as the Bertie Bowl and was instead focusing on basic infrastructural projects with fewer regulations around them.
The minister and the head of the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) Brian Murphy this week travelled to England to meet with potential investors on state projects and push Ireland as a place for funding again after the downturn.
The last 12 months have seen an improvement in relations with banks, Mr Murphy said, and dialogue had restarted after the period following the banking collapse.
The NDFA is looking for a developer to build a €200m campus at Grangegorman for the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and is asking interested companies to lodge expressions of interest. Other projects include schools, courthouses and roads plans.
"We had a very substantial consultation over the last year and a half from the investor community as to what the difficulties in the past were – things like Metro never happened – so it is important that now [as] we take these first steps back into the market that there is certainty for the investors," the minister said.
Mr Hayes said that the number of meetings which tenderers would have to attend would be reduced and the processing time before tenders were awarded would be reduced from 21 to 15 months on average.
"My central message is this – what we say we are going to build, we will build. There is no point leading people up the garden path," he said.
Interest had been expressed across the EU in getting involved in the PPP projects, Mr Hayes said, with some investors attracted by the reduced cost of labour in Ireland.