2 August 2011

Forum Economic Ministers commit to SOE action

The 2011 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM), held 20-21 July 2011 in Samoa, outlined a number of points related to the reform of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the 2011 action plan. The relevant points are reproduced below:
 6. Ministers remain committed to national and regional actions to generate growth to improve the well-being of their people. They acknowledged that reform is an ongoing process and recalled the actions agreed to at their last meeting as essential for Forum Island Countries’ efforts to expand the economic base:

  • reforming the governance of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) based on commercial principles, to improve service delivery, ensure effective regulation and monitoring, and release resources for other priorities.

 7. Ministers further agreed to continue to pursue the following measures:  

  • to reform the public sector including the SOEs.

 8. Ministers recognised that while reforms are essential to broadening the economic base, they need to frame a package of supportive policies to:

  •  build capacity and governance in SOEs and key public institutions. 

The full document can be viewed at http://forum.forumsec.org/pages.cfm/newsroom/press-statements/2011/2011-femm-outcomes.html

26 July 2011

Finding Balance 2011 presented in PNG

ADB presented the Finding Balance 2011 comparative SOE Study in Port Moresby on July 27th, 2011 at the Institute of National Affairs. The presentation was part of the INA’s Private Sector Development Seminar Series. While PNG did not participate in the comparative SOE study, the findings and lessons from the analysis are very relevant to PNG as its SOEs struggle to improve both operational and financial performance.



27 June 2011

Leaders Retreat to Launch Finding Balance 2011

Leaders Retreat to consider “Finding Balance 2011: Benchmarking the Performance of SOEs in Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga”, ADB’s updated study on the comparative performance of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the Pacific. Representatives from the five countries participating in the study attended the retreat to discuss the study’s key findings and recommendations as well as their own experiences in implementing SOE reform. The Hon. Richard Prebble, former Minister for SOEs in New Zealand, shared insights on his experience in implementing one of the most far reaching SOE reform programs ever attempted in the region, a process that brought profound and positive changes to the New Zealand economy.

Download presentation here

Finding Balance 2011 presented in Solomon Islands

May 2011 – Launch of “Finding Balance 2011″ in the Solomon Islands. The Minister of Finance chaired a formal presentation of the study attended by SOE managers, directors, donor partners and members of the press. Press coverage was both national and regional. A Cabinet meeting was held to discuss the rational and approach for SOE reform in Solomon Islands. Download presentation here

7 June 2011

Microbanking in PNG

A widow and small-time coffee grower in remote Papua New Guinea province is one of thousands of customers benefiting from a successful microbank focused on the needs of the poor.

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea - It took almost half a century for Tommie Seriate to open her first bank account. Prior to walking into a branch of Nationwide Microbank in May 2011, this 49-year-old subsistence farmer from the rural Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea kept her earnings buried in the ashes of the fireplace where she cooked food for her family. Saving proved difficult. A widow with four children and eight grandchildren, Ms. Seriate was often tempted to dig up the hearth to meet family needs. Then one day she heard a presentation given by Nationwide Microbank representatives in the local market. Ms. Seriate had tried in the past to open bank accounts with other commercial banks but found their account opening process too difficult. But what she heard that day in the marketplace encouraged her to try again.

31 May 2011

PNG's Nationwide Microbank Signs Up 100,000th Customer

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Papua New Guinea's (PNG) Nationwide Microbank has signed up its 100,000th customer, highlighting the ongoing demand for quality and accessible banking services in the country.

The landmark bank account was opened by Tommie Seriate, a 49-year-old widow and mother of four from the Unggai Bena District of the Eastern Highlands Province.

"I am so happy and glad that I made the right decision to open an account with Nationwide Microbank," said Ms Seriate. "They made it so simple to open a savings account."

To make a living, Ms Seriate operates a small coffee garden in a remote part of the Eastern Highlands Province, some two hours by road north of Goroka, the provincial capital. She had previously tried to open a bank account with two commercial banks without success.

Nationwide Microbank (formerly Wau Microbank) was established in 2004 as a pilot scheme under the ADB Microfinance and Employment Project. The project was implemented between 2002 and 2010 with a $9.6 million concessional loan from ADB to the Government of PNG and a grant from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). It laid the foundation of a growing microfinance sector in PNG, through extensive training of staff and the development of appropriate products.

1 March 2011

Leaders Retreat to Launch “Finding Balance 2011"

Leaders Retreat to Launch “Finding Balance 2011: Benchmarking the Performance of SOEs in Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga”, ADB’s updated study on the comparative performance of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the Pacific. Representatives from the five countries participating in the study attended the retreat to discuss the study’s key findings and recommendations as well as their own experiences in implementing SOE reform. The Hon. Richard Prebble, former Minister for SOEs in New Zealand, shared insights on his experience in implementing one of the most far-reaching SOE reform programs ever attempted in the region, a process that brought profound and positive changes to the New Zealand economy. Download presentation here 2011 Leaders Seminar Presentation