At Infrastructure Asia’s (https://www.infrastructureasia.org/) recently concluded Asia Infrastructure Forum 2021 on 23 June 2021, our Chief Executive Officer, Mr Daniel Long shared the floor with private sector experts and government representatives to spark ideas for possible public private partnerships in regional development projects in Cambodia.
Daniel shared about Olive Tree Estates Limited’s (OTE) experience in providing an integrated and holistic impact solution to the masses in Vietnam with affordable housing as the cornerstone and suggested that ‘3Ps’ should guide those who wish to make a contribution in this sector.
OTE’s mission is to serve the people of the land and we are very committed to ensuring that our social impact solution improves lives and transforms communities. Daniel shared that at OTE, we could never think of an affordable housing project as having been successfully delivered if the right mix of amenities and services (such as education, healthcare and social services) are not provided to nurture the development of resilient families and communities within our estates. In developed countries, we often take community amenities and services for granted because these assets are widely and readily available. But not necessarily so in emerging economies. So the provision of these services as part of a holistic solution in our housing estates significantly increases our impact and represents low-hanging fruit for OTE.
For OTE, Partnerships centered on trust is absolutely critical. OTE recognizes that one of the principal reasons why we are on the fast-track towards delivering more than 6000 homes across 5 locations in Vietnam is because we are tethered to an extremely competent and trustworthy local partner. As the world moves from pandemic to endemic, with business travel constrained and physical site visits rendered impossible, deep-seated trust partnerships in business help us to make significant progress in terms of achieving our corporate objectives. Daniel expressed his excitement and delight that the Cambodian government is working on a PPP framework for affordable housing and OTE would be keen to see how we might be able to contribute to these discussions.
OTE recognizes that we are working in emerging economies and permitting and regulatory issues can potentially be complicated. As such, financial projections and feasibility studies should be modelled conservatively. It is also imperative that expectations be set right and ‘patient capital’ be brought to bear. Because OTE is committed to a sustainable business model and wishes to have an enduring impact in the countries we serve, these are extremely important considerations for us.