World Bank prez Zoellick says "odd" that US states like Pennsylvania more hostile to private investment in roads than communist regimes
By Peter Samuel
Robert B Zoellick president of the World Bank noted in an address titled "The Power of Partnerships" (P3s) that for some years now communist countries such as China and Vietnam have been more open to private investment in roads and other infrastructure than several American states and he cited Pennsylvania.
He commented that he found this "odd."
Zoellick was speaking at the 14th annual Global Private Equity Conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington DC this morning (Tuesday May 15). Pennsylvania under Democratic Governor Ed Rendell had a P3 set up in the spring of 2007 to bring $12.8 billion of private investment from Spain's Abertis into the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but instead politicians blocked the move fearing loss of a jobs machine they controlled from the legislature.
They instead forced the Turnpike into huge debt funded grants to the state that the state auditor general has said head it toward inevitable bankruptcy.
In Ohio critics of privatization via P3s attack even a study Governor Kasich has going to lay out alternatives to sacrosanct state ownership of the Turnpike. They seem proud to emulate the economic policies of... North Korea?
The conference is sponsored by the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA.)