3 August 2012

Forum Economic Ministers commit to SOE reform

The Forum Economic Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to SOE Reform at their recent meeting in Tarawa, Kiribati. In the Forum Economic Action Plan 2012, the Ministers:

  • Recalled the 2011 FEMM agreed actions to expand the economic base for Forum Island Countries, and commended the ongoing efforts in member countries with respect to SOE reforms
  • Recalled the Principles for the Governance and Management of Public Enterprises adopted in 2005, as central to improving the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of public enterprises in the region
  • Noted that the drivers of poor performances of SOEs are primarily unclear mandates, absence of performance incentives, absence of stringent accountability, and weak governance arrangements
  • Agreed that it is critically important for Members to adopt policies to lead to stronger private sector development
  • Noted that the key characteristics of SOE success include robust legal and regulatory frameworks, strong governance arrangements and the drive to engage in competition through commercialisation principles, ensuring improved efficiency and accountability
  • Acknowledged the crucial role that SOEs play in national development by providing infrastructure and critical services
  • Acknowledged  the good progress that has been made in SOE reform in Forum Island Countries
  • Agreed that they would take steps to further improve public service delivery, resource allocation and efficiency through ongoing reforms, in line with the findings of the ADB benchmarking study
  • Urged support from development partners for additional budgetary resources and technical capacity building to implement and sustain SOE reforms in the Pacific Islands