Renewed emphasis on PPPs in policy circles is driving regulatory reform and pilot projects nationwide. However, clear central guidance on roles and responsibilities, as well as improvement in coordination among and oversight are still needed. The People’s Republic of China is on its way to establishing a strong framework for PPPs in line with international best practice. But there is still some way to go until a coherent regulatory environment is realized and can be enforced.

The People’s Republic of China has made rapid progress towards a modern regulatory framework for PPPs since the CCP initiated a reform programme in late 2013, which emphasized the role of market forces in allocating resources and explicitly supported PPPs to that end. Previously, the regulatory framework for PPPs had developed in a fragmented way across sectors and locations, and suffered from a lack of clarity over the definition and scope of PPPs. Over the last year, a more coordinated approach has been developed and definitions are converging strongly influenced by international best practice. A series of pilot projects has been launched nationwide as part of the policy development process. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Ministry of Finance (MoF) have emerged as the main bodies responsible for PPP regulations and oversight. Unfortunately, there is no clear central direction on the division of responsibilities these two agencies, and as a result they have been developing guidance on PPPs, and setting up local PPP centers, in what appear to be parallel bids for control over this sphere. As such, in December 2014, the MoF formally established a PPP Centre, responsible for policy research, advice and training. However, work on a draft concession law, started by the NDRC but joint group comprising the NDRC, MoF and other sector ministries, which may lead to improved coordination down the line

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