When speaking of PPPs in Serbian, maybe the first and most important note to make is that Serbia has not seen yet a large-scale PPP project or concession coming to its successful fruition despite many attempts in the past 10 to 15 years. The lack of a big success story has certainly influenced the lack of development of a larger number of projects both on the state and on the municipal level.
Several reasons are responsible for this and they range from lack of political will and lack of expert knowledge on the public side (especially on the municipal level) to poor financing opportunities in consequence of the above. In many cases, all these reasons are combined.
Still, it is fair to say that in the past years, the state has made progress on this road – notably by adopting the new PPP (and concession) law in 2011 and later on by forming the PPP commission, developing on the conceptual level some municipal projects, and the alike. Yet, there was little tangible result on this path. For matter of example, the PPP commission approved several dozen local projects so far, but none of them found the interest of a private partner yet. The issues that we have seen relate for example to the manner of financing proposed by the public partner which is not found appropriate by the private partner, or the reliability of data and manner of calculation method which was used for providing the anticipated number of customers on a mid to long term period which is crucial for calculation of economical parameters by the private partner, etc.
The Republic of Serbia has recently shown great interest in successfully realizing a number of very important infrastructural projects – notably the privatization or PPP of the Belgrade Airport, the waste field project in Vinča Belgrade, PPPs in energy sector, waste water purification and the alike. The government has shown their awareness of the problems which were faced in previous attempts of PPPs. It is yet to be seen whether they will adequately respond to the challenges.