LSE research has been a critical component in the facilitation of large-scale cooperation on public-private partnership projects between the UK and the Gulf monarchies.
What was the problem?
Public-private partnership (PPP) projects between the UK and the Gulf monarchies is of great importance to the UK government. Research was needed into the outlook for public-private partnerships in the Gulf to inform the government, and in particular the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office, now known as the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office).
What did we do?
Dr Hertog wrote a policy paper for the FCO in 2016 about the outlook for public-private partnerships in the Gulf.
Since 2010, Hertog has produced a number of publications analysing the roots of state capacity and the capabilities of the private sector in the Gulf oil monarchies that are highly relevant for Western diplomatic or commercial interests engaged with the region and its business actors.
Key findings of his work have included the importance of “pockets of efficiency” for these states’ functioning, the advanced capabilities of specific state-owned enterprises and the high dependence of the private sector on state support.
Hertog co-authored a monograph with Alissa Amico in 2013 entitled: State-Owned Enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa: engines of development and competitiveness? It analyses the provision of subsidised, but critical public services and the track record and approach to corporatisation and privatisation of state assets in the wider MENA region (Middle East and North Africa).
All of this research informed the policy paper written for the FCO.
The policy paper has been a critical component within a larger dialogue process that aims to facilitate large-scale cooperation on PPP projects between the UK and the Gulf monarchies.
The process is ongoing and has resulted in a large conference chaired by Liam Fox (Secretary of State for International Trade from 2016 to 2019).
Here is an excerpt from an email Dr Hertog received from the Deputy Head of the Gulf desk at the FCO about the conference:
“We are not expecting a formal report on the event but can confirm a very healthy turn-out and positive feedback from Gulf participants and UK business representatives. The event for over 300 was hosted by the Secretary of State for International Trade, and included Ministers from FCO and HMT, and PM’s Trade Envoys. It attracted the SG and Deputy SG of the GCC, Ministers from each of the GCC states and representation from a wide variety of Ministries, including economy, health, housing, transport, planning, etc, and over 70 representatives from UK industry. The event was well received and has prompted several follow-up conferences and events in the Gulf to further explore collaborative PPP opportunities.
Your report was not specifically referenced at the conference but can be attributed as the catalyst for a successful event and first material contribution to delivery against the commitments made in the Joint Communique.”