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.

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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.