30 December 2014

What has PSDI been doing in Pacific Island Developing Countries?



Click on the pages below to view PSDI's latest Activity Updates or download a PDF to catch up with our efforts in 2014 in 14 Pacific Developing Member Countries.


You can request a PDF of any PSDI document by emailing us at info@adbpsdi.org













29 December 2014

What is PSDI doing in Samoa?

Click on the pages to view or download a PDF of PSDI's latest updates for Pacific Developing Member Countries.



Request a PDF of this or any PSDI document by emailing us at info@adbpsdi.org

What is PSDI doing in Papua New Guinea?

Click on the pages to view or download a PDF of PSDI's latest updates for Pacific Developing Member Countries.



Request a PDF of this or any PSDI document by emailing us at info@adbpsdi.org

What is PSDI doing in Fiji?

Click on the pages to view or download a PDF of PSDI's latest updates for Pacific Developing Member Countries.

 


Request a PDF of this or any PSDI document by emailing us at info@adbpsdi.org

    What is PSDI doing in Micronesia?

    What has PSDI been doing to enhance the enabling environment for business in the Republic of Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru and Palau?

    Click on the pages below to view or download a PDF of PSDI's latest updates for Pacific Developing Member Countries.



    Request a PDF of this or any PSDI document by emailing us at info@adbpsdi.org

    21 December 2014

    Latest PSDI Progress Report charts landmark 2014 for Pacific business environment



    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (23 December 2014) – Advances in the business environment in several Pacific island countries mark 2014 as a year of achievement for the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), according to the latest progress report for the regional technical assistance facility released today.

    New online business registries in Tonga, landmark legislation on public–private partnerships (PPPs) in Papua New Guinea, and the establishment of pilots to economically empower women in four Pacific countries, are among the highlights documented in PSDI’s seventh Progress Report, which covers the reporting period July 2013 to end June 2014.

    PSDI focuses on improving the business environment by promoting investment, encouraging entrepreneurship, and easing constraints to doing business across ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries (DMCs). Operational since 2006, PSDI is cofinanced by ADB, the Government of Australia, and the New Zealand Government, which joined the partnership in 2013.

    17 December 2014

    Developing a Uniquely Pacific Approach to Financing Growth

    "The Pacific needs to be decoupled from ‘Asia-hyphen-Pacific’
    when it comes to discussions on finance." Dr Peter Dirou
    addresses Pacific Central Bank Governors in Suva. 

    Speech (abridged) by Dr Peter Dirou, Senior Financial Sector Expert, Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative, to 29th South Pacific Central Bank Governors’ Meeting, Suva, 3–4 December 2014

    ---

    Thank you Governor Whiteside, Governors and other participants... and special thanks to all involved at the Reserve Bank of Fiji for their hospitality and organisational efforts.

    The substance of (my) presentation arises from the work PSDI has been doing in the Pacific, often with your banks, and from the personal discussions I have had with a number of you since I commenced my current role in January.

    What gave the work added urgency, was the realization that, outside the Pacific, there is so little understanding of the realities of Pacific economies and their financial systems. The full force of that realization hit me earlier this year in Jakarta – several of you were there – at the UN Asia-Pacific Outreach Meeting on Sustainable Development Financing. I contributed to a panel on capital markets in the Asia-Pacific. Alongside me on that panel were representatives from Moodys, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs. You will have guessed already as to how relevant most of that discussion was to the Pacific.

    Of course, the reality that has to be confronted is that the Pacific is not Asia, and it is most certainly not Europe or North America, or South America for that matter.

    The Pacific needs to be decoupled from ‘Asia-hyphen-Pacific’ when it comes to discussions on finance.

    1 December 2014

    NEWS RELEASE: Tonga’s Innovative Online Business Registry Goes Live – ADB

    Business Service Centre of Tonga’s Ministry of Commerce, Tourism & Labour
    NUKUʻALOFA, TONGA – The Government of the Kingdom of Tonga launched the region’s first integrated online business registry today, providing up-to-date information on Tongan companies and businesses to the public 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week.

    The site was launched by Mrs. Vaimoana Fakatulolo, CEO of Tonga’s Ministry of Commerce, Tourism & Labour, at a ceremony attended by representatives of the private sector and supporting development partners including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

    The new website, now live at www.businessregistries.gov.to, allows users to file and access company records, business names and business licenses all from the one integrated resource, from wherever there is internet access.

    “Tonga is the first Pacific Island country to provide an electronic database for all its business entities,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney. “With this innovative registry Tongans can now file their documents and search the registry online. Tonga now leads the Pacific in the provision of company and business records and information.”

    30 November 2014

    PSDI at the Pacific Women in Business Conference, Nadi 2014



    Presentation by Vij Nagarajan, PSDI gender specialist, at the ADB Pacific Women in Business Conference, Nadi, November 2014.

    19 November 2014

    NEWS RELEASE: Unlocking the value of movable assets is key to Pacific prosperity—new ADB report

    KOROR, PALAU (20 November 2014) – Unlocking the value of “movable property” through legal reform and public online registries is key to removing constraints to economic growth and access to finance in developing Pacific island economies, says a new report launched here today by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI).

    Analysis from PSDI, a regional technical assistance facility cofinanced by the Government of Australia, the New Zealand Government, and the Asian Development Bank, notes that obtaining credit is difficult in many of the Pacific’s developing countries. But without broad-based access to finance, investment remains constrained and economic growth potential is wasted.

    The solution, say the authors of Unlocking Finance For Growth: Secured Transactions Reform In Pacific Island Economies, lies in borrowers being able secure credit by accessing the value of their movable property: That is, everything owned by an individual or a business excluding land or buildings, such as vehicles, machinery, crops, inventory and accounts receivable.


    9 November 2014

    ADB and PSDI seek an 'Internal Audit in Banking Expert' for assignment in Timor-Leste

    PSDI is seeking to recruit an Internal Audit in Banking Expert in Timor-Leste. The objective and purpose of the assignment is as follows

    • The National Commercial Bank of Timor-Leste (BNCTL), formerly the Institute of  Microfinance Timor-Leste (IMfTL), was granted an unrestricted banking license in July 2011. The bank continues to implement a process to transition into a sustainable, best practice commercial bank, with assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
    • The assignment will support the commercial transformation of BNCTL desired by the BNCTL Board of Directors by contributing to a strong internal control system. The Government of Timor-Leste and the Board of Directors have requested ADB technical assistance to support the Audit Committee and Internal Audit Department of BNCTL to strengthen the internal audit function.

    Deadline for expressions of interest is 17 November 2014, 11:59 PM Manila local time

    29 October 2014

    Timor-Leste seeks feedback on Secured Transactions reform plans

    THE GOVERNMENT of Timor-Leste is proposing to introduce secured transactions reforms to promote broader access to finance and improve the enabling environment for business in the country.
    As part of a program of extensive public consultations, Ms. Veneranda Lemos, Timor-Leste's Secretary of State for the Support and Promotion of Private Sector (SEAPRI), has released a discussion paper* to explain the reforms. Published in Portuguese, English and Bahasa Indonesia, the paper lays out the key issues related to the proposed reform, including an outline of the major legal issues that need to be addressed.

    24 October 2014

    Richard Prebble on Finding Balance: "I am New Zealand’s last Postmaster General."

    Speech by the Hon Richard Prebble at the launch in PNG of Finding Balance 2014: Benchmarking the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises in Island CountriesThe Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 24 October 2014

    I am New Zealand’s last Postmaster General.

    I got the job because the cost of sending a letter was increasing faster than inflation but the mail delivery was so bad that the claim that your cheque was in the mail could be true. You met your obligation to pay tax in New Zealand by posting a cheque on the due date People had taken to mailing tax cheques from rural letterboxes knowing it might be some time before Inland Revenue could cash the cheque. The government had made an emergency multi-million dollar bailout of the Post Office but the losses continued.

    One advantage about being a Minister is you can ask questions about things you have always wanted to know. My first question to the manager of New Zealand Post was: “Why is it that every parcel I get looks as if it has been dropped out a four storey window?”

    22 October 2014

    NEWS RELEASE: Stronger Private Sector ties can boost SOE performance in PNG - ADB

    PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (23 October 2014) – Engaging the private sector through public-private partnerships and privatization can improve the performance and service delivery of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), according to a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

    FindingBalance 2014: Benchmarking the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises in IslandCountries, will be launched in PNG at a breakfast today hosted by the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce. It was produced by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), a regional technical assistance facility, cofinanced by the governments of Australia and New Zealand, and ADB.

    “When SOEs operate commercially, they reduce the costs of doing business, create opportunities for private investment, and improve basic service delivery,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney. “Finding Balance 2014 shows the importance of increased private sector engagement in implementing these reforms.”

    14 October 2014

    NEWS RELEASE: ADB and Vanuatu to support private sector with online registries

    Ms. Serah Obed, Acting Commissioner, Vanuatu Financial Services
    Commission (left) and Ms. Nancy Wells, ADB's Development
    Coordinator in Vanuatu, share a handshake in Port Vila yesterday
    at the signing of an MOU committing their organisations to work
    together to build what will be the Pacific's "most comprehensive
    suite of electronic business registries". 
    PORT VILA, VANUATU (15 October 2014) – After working together to achieve business law reform, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Vanuatu’s financial services regulator have agreed to build online business registries that will lower costs, boost transparency, and make joining the formal sector much easier for local businesses and entrepreneurs.

    “Once implemented, this will see Vanuatu with the most comprehensive suite of electronic registries in the Pacific,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney. “This agreement recognizes our shared commitment to encourage greater access to the formal sector by small businesses and entrepreneurs, especially in rural areas.”

    A memorandum of understanding signed yesterday in Port Vila with the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) will facilitate ADB’s support in the procurement, project management and implementation of the new registries. Accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from  wherever there is internet access, the new online registries will enable the VFSC to deliver a more efficient and convenient service to customers.

    10 September 2014

    ADB is seeking applicants for assignment in Sydney on the Pacific Business Investment Facility

    ADB is seeking applicants for three positions at the Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office (PLCO), Sydney, working on the forthcoming Pacific Business Investment Facility

    The Pacific Business Investment Trust Fund (Trust Fund) and related Pacific Business Investment Facility (BIF) will support businesses of all sectors in the region to realize commercial success and sustainability. The BIF will foremost provide business advisory services to businesses in the Pacific seeking commercial finance and in a small number of selected cases the Trust Fund will provide concessional loans to a small number of businesses, in parallel with commercial finance. Read on...

    8 September 2014

    GRAPHIC: ADB Welcomes New Public–Private Partnership Act in PNG

    PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA –The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has welcomed a new law making it easier to develop and implement public–private partnerships (PPPs) in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Public–Private Partnership Act was passed by National Parliament of PNG early this month by a unanimous vote of 67-0. The new Act establishes a Public–Private Partnership Centre to assist the government in developing, tendering and implementing PPPs.    READ MORE

    7 September 2014

    NEWS RELEASE: ADB welcomes new Public Private Partnership Act in Papua New Guinea

    National Parliament of PNG. PIC CREDIT: Rocky Roe
    PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, 9 September 2014The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has welcomed a new law making it easier to develop and implement public–private partnerships (PPPs) in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Public–Private Partnership Act was passed by National Parliament of PNG early this month by a unanimous vote of 67-0.
    The new Act establishes a Public–Private Partnership Centre to assist the government in developing, tendering and implementing PPPs. ADB provided policy guidance and support in drafting the legislation, which is part of wider reforms to increase private investment in the delivery of infrastructure services.
    “Private sector partnerships allow governments to do more with less, expanding service delivery and technical know-how without immediate drawdowns on limited fiscal resources,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office. “This new Act creates a transparent and robust process for PPP project development in Papua New Guinea which ultimately will encourage more private investment."

    30 August 2014

    What has PSDI been doing in its core focus areas across the Pacific?

    PSDI works across 5 Core Focus Areas:

    • Financing Growth
    • Business Law Reform
    • State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) and Public-Private Partnerships
    • Economic Empowerment of Women
    • Competition Policy and Consumer Protection
    Click on the images below to view or download the August 2014 Focus Area Update.
    To access PSDI's latest Country Activity Updates click here: Pacific Developing Member Countries
    Request a PDF of any PSDI document by emailing us at info@adbpsdi.org



    NEWS RELEASE: "Finding Balance 2014" -- Latest edition of PSDI's landmark report launched in Apia Samoa

    APIA, SAMOA (30 August 2014) – Engaging the private sector through public-private partnerships and privatization improves the performance and service delivery of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), according to a new landmark report from the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI).

    Finding Balance 2014: Benchmarking the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises in Island Countries, was launched by Asian Development Bank Vice-President Stephen Groff in Apia, Samoa, ahead of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, which opens tomorrow. It was produced by PSDI, a regional technical assistance facility cofinanced by the Government of Australia, the New Zealand Government, and ADB.

    “The study reflects ADB’s ongoing commitment to economic development in our member countries, an important element of which is continued thought leadership on SOE reforms," said Vice-President Groff,  "Reforming the SOE sector is vital as it improves basic service delivery, reduces the costs of doing business, and creates opportunities for private investment.”

    20 August 2014

    Boost in business startups to greet passage of Solomons Business Names Act

    National Parliament of the Solomon Islands
    HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has welcomed a new law making it easier to register businesses in the Solomon Islands. ADB provided policy guidance and support in drafting of the legislation which is part of wider reforms to regulatory frameworks for businesses in the Pacific.

    “The new law will improve and streamline the business name registration process which will encourage more people to start up and register their small businesses,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Australia. “By becoming formal businesses, they will have greater access to finance and to markets which will ultimately boost private sector growth.”

    The new Registration of Business Names Act 2014 will save small business owners time and money as they will no longer have to travel often vast distances to register their businesses. Instead, an online registry will be established allowing small business owners to file their business names online from their home or local area. This registry will align with the online companies register Company Haus, an ADB-supported project which in 3 years of operation has helped to spur a significant increase in new registered businesses.

    20 July 2014

    PSDI partners with Nationwide Microbank to nurture Women's business skills in fishing villages

    Gima Kepi(L)Manger of Womens Banking for NMB and
    Naomi Keda, Manager of Human Resoruces at the Bank of PNG.  
    PORT MORESBY, 21 JULY 2014 (ADB) - The ADB/Australia/New Zealand cofinanced Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) has joined forces with PNG’s Nationwide Microbank (NMB) to assist women in two small fishing villages to gain entrepreneurial skills and take their produce to market.

    The partnership was forged in a memorandum of understanding signed this week to support a new PSDI pilot project, 'Empowering Women in fishing production by strengthening the supply chain'.

    “The pilot aims to economically empower women in the fishing sector by linking the loans available through NMB with technical assistance provided by PSDI,” said PSDI Gender Specialist Vijaya Nagarajan. “This assistance will be in the form of skills training and business development as well as accessing supply outlets.”

    24 June 2014

    ADB and PSDI seek a Banking Operations Expert for assignment in Timor-Leste

    PSDI is seeking to recruit a Banking Operations Expert in Timor-Leste. The objective and purpose of the assignment is as follows

    • The National Commercial Bank of Timor-Leste (BNCTL), formerly the Institute of Microfinance Timor-Leste (IMfTL), was granted an unrestricted banking license in July 2011. The bank continues to implement a process to transition into a sustainable, best-practice commercial bank, with assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 
    • The successful candidate will assist BNCTL to lay the foundation for the commercial transformation of the bank, as desired by the BNCTL board. The Board of Directors of BNCTL has approved the establishment of a new Operations Department at the bank’s Head Office in Dili and the corresponding appointment of an Operations Manager.
    • The Government of Timor-Leste and Board and management of BNCTL have requested ADB technical assistance to support bank management and the head of the operations department to align bank operations with the commercial objectives prescribed by the BNCTL business plan, and to develop staff capability within the Operations Department.

    Expressions of interest should be submitted by 15 July. 


    Applications should be made through ADB's consultant management web page. Click here for full details.




    12 June 2014

    Sustainable Development Financing in the Pacific, ESCAP Workshop, Jakarta



    Peter Dirou delivered this presentation to the Asia-Pacific Outreach Meeting on Sustainable Development Financing in Jakarta, Indonesia on 10–11 June 2014. Peter leads the “Financing Growth” focus area within PSDI. The presentation highlighted the distinctiveness of the Pacific region and argued that financial sector development in the region would require an innovative approach, as opposed to replicating the experiences of non-Pacific countries. Improvements in technology would open up innovative approaches, but the legal foundations of capital raisings needed to be addressed, whatever the capital raising modality. Another key message was the role that provident funds stood to play in capital market development, and financial sector development more generally, in the Pacific.

    2 June 2014

    "Finding Balance": Pacific State-owned Enterprise Reform

    SOE reform is crucial to private sector development.

    Over the past decade, the Asian Development Bank has been working with a number of Pacific island countries to reform their state-owned enterprise (SOEs) sectors. Key in driving this agenda has been the publishing of the Finding Balance series: in-depth, country-level situational analysis which seeks to strike a balance between the roles of the public and private sector.
    SOEs continue to play a important role in many Pacific island countries. They absorb large amounts of scarce capital, on which they provide very low returns. While some provide essential public services, many others operate as purely commercial ventures and crowd out the private sector.
    Many have performed poorly. Reforming the SOE sector is vital for private sector development, as it will create opportunities for private investment, reduce the costs of doing business and improve basic services by introducing private sector discipline and competitive market pressures into the SOE sector.
    The Finding Balance series has proved a valuable advocacy tool in driving these reforms. Find out more here:

    14 May 2014

    Solomons solar maintenance pilot kicks off PSDI women’s economic empowerment program

    As Honiara rebuilds from the devastating floods of April, comes some good news as training starts on PSDI's solar maintenance pilot to advance women's economic empowerment.

    Under-investment in Women, who represent 40% of the world’s labour force but hold just 1% of its wealth, is now widely recognized as an opportunity cost for economic growth and business performance. In the Pacific, PSDI, through its Economic Empowerment of Women (EEOW) program, is implementing scalable pilots designed to remove barriers to women’s entry and participation in business and the private sector.
    One pilot is aimed at equipping Solomon Islands women with the technical skills to start and run a local solar maintenance and repair business.  In South-West Malaita 718 households have gained many benefits from a solar panel scheme including cost savings on kerosene and diesel, improved safety and increased household productivity. However repair and maintenance of the panels remains a problem. The region’s remote location makes regular visits from the urban centers of Auki and Honiara expensive and complex, and many of the solar panels have fallen into disrepair and require maintenance. PSDI has launched a pilot to address these issues.

    Technical skills, access to finance, business training
    “We  have been working with the West Are`Are Rokotanikeni Association, an established NGO in the region, to consult with communities and identify women who are well placed to engage in a business to maintain and repair solar panels,” said project leader and PSDI Gender Specialist, Vijaya Nagarajan. “After identifying our enthusiastic entrepreneurs, we brought them to Honiara for their first training session when they received both hands-on training in solar power maintenance as well as advice on how to register their business, open bank accounts and manage business transactions.”
    Trainee Rhoda Hina’I was quick to see the benefits of combining solar power maintenance with business skills training: “We need to learn more about maintaining solar so we can develop a new skill to make money to pay school fees or buy at the market”. The skills workshop is to be followed by bi-monthly training sessions in the villages aimed at refreshing technical skills and embedding new practices.

    13 May 2014

    What is PSDI doing in Solomon Islands?

     

    What is PSDI doing in Timor-Leste?

     

    What is PSDI doing in Tonga?

     

    What is PSDI doing in Vanuatu?

     

    What is PSDI doing in the Cook Islands and Tuvalu?


















    10 May 2014

    What is PSDI doing in Competition policy in Samoa?

    PSDI was approached by the Samoa Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labor to assist in developing a competition policy, which will then be used as the basis for a new competition law. In 2012 and the first half of 2013, a framework for the analysis of competition issues in Samoa was developed. A consultation paper sets out the role of competition, competition law, and competition policy in Samoa’s further economic development; proposals for a national competition policy for Samoa; and a policy development path, leading to recommendations to the Cabinet for a national competition policy and possible new legislation to follow.
    The objective of the national competition policy is to sustain and promote the process of competition in markets within Samoa, in the interests of enhancing economic welfare and sustainable, equitable economic development. The draft national competition policy includes:
    • proposals for new laws to uphold competition in Samoa’s markets;
    • proposals for tasking an agency with responsibility for overseeing competition in Samoa’s markets and equipping it to carry out that responsibility;
    • proposals for policies on matters directly affecting competition in Samoa’s markets, such as state-owned enterprises, professional services, and the administration of government; and
    • proposals for policies on matters directly affecting the ability of businesses in Samoa to compete in regional and international markets.
    The consultation paper has received comments, which will be incorporated into a competition law in 2014.

    What is PSDI doing in Competition policy in Papua New Guinea?

    In Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) Act 2002 provides for the establishment of a statutory body (the ICCC) to promote competition and the protection of consumer interests. A commissioner and two associate commissioners administer the ICCC, which comprises three divisions:

    • a competitive market and fair trade division,
    • a price monitoring and industry regulation division, and
    • a consumer protection division.

    A staff of economists and lawyers undertake its statutory functions. The ICCC operates under difficult circumstances. As the ICCC is still working to build a public profile, complaints from the public remain limited, making information gathering a difficult exercise. Requests for information are routinely ignored and there are extremely lengthy delays in investigations. Further, businesses are either unaware of their obligations or choose to ignore them.
    For example, mergers are not reported to the ICCC. In addition, requests for administrative review are frequently sought to stymie ICCC decisions.
    Prosecuting such cases requires considerable economic and legal skill and sophistication. However, such skills and experience are, at present, critically short in PNG. This makes implementing something as complicated as the ICCC Act very difficult. To build capacity, PSDI is providing assistance to strengthen the capacity of the ICCC in PNG to increase its ability to investigate inquiries into competition cases.

    What is PSDI doing in Competition policy in the Cook Islands?

    The Cook Islands has a very narrow economic base. Often, there is only a single supplier of goods and services (e.g., of shipping services between the Cook Islands and New Zealand), even when the market is capable of supporting several competing suppliers. Concentration of ownership, especially in wholesale and retail trade, is another concern.

    Given the size of the population and the technical characteristics of production, supply of many services tends to be a natural monopoly and it is, therefore, hard to directly introduce competition. For example, the major power utility company provides 90% of power supply in the Cook Islands. Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) has also been the sole provider of telephony services in the country. However, concern that outside competitors might enter the market caused TCI to slash the cost of overseas calls by half and increase the range of services it offered. Despite this, there have been many complaints regarding the high price and low speed of internet services as well as TCI’s business practices.
    Significant uncertainty surrounds the implementation of competition law in the Cook Islands. It has no stand-alone competition law and has made significant use of price controls, which are often antithetical to effective competition policy. PSDI has provided assistance in the analysis of competition issues in the Cook Islands and, in the future, will help with developing a coherent competition framework.

    1 May 2014

    Solomon Islands: Rebirth of a Marina



    The Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), co-financed by the Asian Development Bank, AusAID and the New Zealand Aid Programme, is lifting barriers to business in Solomon Islands by helping countries in the Pacific region reform their business environments to help the private sector grow and create jobs. The sale and rehabilitation of Sasape Marina, formerly a state-owned enterprise, highlights some of the real benefits that can result from state-owned enterprise reform and privatization. FIND OUT MORE

    31 March 2014

    SOE Reform and PPP Document Repository

    Ministers and policy makers listen at an SOE seminar organised
    by PSDI at ADB Pacific in Sydney in March 2014.











    Experts working in PSDI's focus area promoting SOE reform and PPP have collected many documents which are useful guidance for stakeholders who are seeking to move along the reform agenda.  Click on the links to find out more:

    24 March 2014

    NEWS RELEASE: Senior Pacific media gather in Sydney to talk business

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (25 March 2014) – Media industry professionals, publishers, proprietors, editors, and journalists from across the Pacific are gathering in Sydney today for the inaugural Asian Development Bank (ADB) Pacific Business Media Summit.
    Senior media from eight Pacific countries are attending, including representatives from Fiji TV, Fiji Times, Matangi Tonga, Solomon Star, Talamua Media Samoa, Papua New Guinea (PNG) National Broadcasting Corporation, Pacific Islands News Association, Asia Pacific Journalism Centre, Pacific Media Centre, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Over two days they will share experiences and discuss views on the changing media landscape for business reporting and the business of media in the region.
    The Summit is hosted by ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office (PLCO) in Sydney and is supported by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), co-financed by ADB and the Governments of Australia and New Zealand. 
    “We recognize the crucial role the media play in the region’s economic development. We are therefore very happy to host to such an experienced group and are pleased to facilitate the exchange of knowledge that will occur the next two days,” said PLCO Regional Director Andrea Iffland.  
    Today at the ADB Business Media Briefing, delegates will hear in-depth presentations about the Pacific economic outlook, and ADB’s ongoing development assistance to the region. There will also be a focus on Pacific private sector development and the enabling environment for business; the investment outlook for Pacific Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises; the economic empowerment of women; and the pipeline of major infrastructure projects planned in the medium-term in the region.
    Tomorrow at the Pacific Business Media Forum, participants will take the podium to engage in panel discussions on issues vital to both media coverage of Pacific business and the business of Pacific media. Issues to be covered include the impact of digital technology and social media, reporting on women and business, and “what's the big story?” 
    Question and answer periods will follow all sessions, which are open to the public. Media are welcome and encouraged to attend and join in the discussion. ADB experts will be available for interview throughout the Summit.
    ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.

    Unlocking Collateral and Credit with Secured Transactions Reform



    Peter Dirou delivered this presentation to the 12th Pacific Islands Financial Inclusion Working Group meeting in Nadi, Fiji on March 2014. Peter leads the “Finasncing Growth” focus area within PSDI. The presentation provided an overview of what is involved in secured transactions reform and why Pacific Island countries will benefit from the reform. It drew attention to some implementation factors that are critical to the success of the reform, and made the link with the financial inclusion agenda. The key message was that the reforms are working, but more can be done to unlock the power of collateral to increase credit in the interests of Pacific populations.

    11 March 2014

    PSDI's Paul Holden talks about business constraints on "Business PNG" on EMTV

    PSDI is seeking business and gender experts to assess women's SME's

    PSDI* is seeking business and gender experts to undertake a mapping and needs assessment of women's SMEs in the Pacific and the development of intervention strategies. 

    The advertisements are for one business and gender consultant (international) and two national (PNG and Fiji) business and gender consultants.
    • The international consultant will undertake a comprehensive mapping of women’s SMEs in up to 6 Pacific island countries and develop appropriate strategies to enable effective participation of women’s SMEs. The specific activities will include designing the mapping study, conducting necessary interviews, collaborating with national consultants as required, producing reports that prioritize reform recommendations, undertaking presentations and compiling case studies on women owned SMEs. This work will be carried out between April and September 2014. 
    • The national consultants in Fiji and PNG will assist the international consultant to carry out this work. 
    Applications should be made before 14th March and details are available on the links:
    * Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative is a regional technical assistance facility co-financed by Australian Aid, the New Zealand Aid Programme, and Asian Development Bank.

    6 March 2014

    Samoa Companies Registry celebrates first anniversary

    By Sally Shute-Trembath

    The online Companies Registry has plenty to celebrate on its first anniversary and is already improving the efficiency of conducting business in Samoa. Within its first year of operations, the registry saw a near doubling from 112 to 206 of new companies in Samoa. The time it takes to register a company online has also been reduced to around 1.5 business days. Users of the system have benefited from being able to access the registry 24 hours a day, seven days a week to view company information and use company administration services.
    Registry users such as Sophie Hazelman, Sales and Marketing Manager of Samoa Scenic Tours, have found the registry very easy to use. “It is much easier than filling out lots of paperwork, and I find the automatic reminders that are emailed to our companies especially useful – it really helps us comply with our requirements under the law.”
    ‘Ease of use’ and ‘time-saving’ is the resounding feedback received by Government on the online Companies Registry, managed by the Ministry of Commerce, and funded by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI). The Samoa Companies Office offers continuous outreach to clients, to ensure their transition to an electronic system is seamless.

    IWD 2014: Pacific women speak about the economic challenges they face

    On the eve of International Women's Day 2014, from Australian Aid's Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development, comes this video excerpt highlighting Australia's support for gender equality in the Pacific and the voices of Pacific women about the challenges they face. The film includes opening remarks by Hon Fiame Mata'afa, Minister for Justice and Courts Administration, Samoa and Natasha Stott Despoja, Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls followed by a case study of the UN Women's Safe Cities Program, Port Moresby, PNG and interviews with women market vendors.

    24 February 2014

    NEWS RELEASE: PNG Business Survey Says Law & Order, Corruption Still Biggest Challenges


    PORT MORESBY, PNG, 25 Feb 2014 -- DESPITE improvements in the business environment over the last decade, law and order and corruption remain the most severe constraints to doing business in Papua New Guinea, new analysis from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) reveals.
    Drawn from responses from 130 firms surveyed by the PNG Institute of National Affairs (INA), the findings confirm crime – and measures to prevent it -- still contribute significantly to business costs in PNG.
    Law and order was found to be the most pressing issue for business and was its highest reform priority. Most of the businesses surveyed reported they had been victims of crime and now employ private security guards and other measures to protect themselves. Confidence in law enforcement was low.
    The analysis was undertaken by ADB’s Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) and is captured in a new joint ADB/INA publication, The Challenges of Doing Business in Papua New Guinea, released today in the capital Port Moresby.

    New Analysis Captures Challenges of Doing Business in Papua New Guinea

    A new ADB/PSDI publication, The Challenges of Doing Business in Papua New Guinea (2014), captures key results from the responses from 130  firms in the 2012 Business Environment Survey conducted by the Papua New Guinea Institute of National Affairs. The analysis provides insights and suggestions for policy makers, and indeed anyone interested in PNG’s development. 
    Comparative analysis using data from previous surveys in 2002 and 2007 offers insights into changes in PNG's business environment. These comparisons highlight the impact of the 2011 constitutional crisis, and the acceleration of economic growth since 2007.

    3 February 2014

    Latest Progress Report charts 7 years of Pacific achievement for PSDI

     Progress Report 2013
    THE SIXTH progress report for the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) marks an important milestone as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its bilateral partners, the Australian Government and the New Zealand Aid Program, renewed PSDI for a third phase that will run for 6 years (until June 2019).  A significant increase in funding will allow PSDI build on its success and expand its scope. As PSDI moves into its third phase, this progress report reviews the analytical basis for reform and summarises action on PSDI's core focus areas, initiatives, and reforms to date. The financial data cover the period January 2007 to 30 June 2013.


    2 January 2014

    Pacific banks go branchless to reach the unbanked

    Bankers see it as key driver in financial inclusion*

    It might be the woman market stall holder in a city like Port Moresby, who needs security for her daily takings, or the rural Solomon Islands school teacher who must spend up to half his wage in boat fuel travelling to a bank to collect his pay. Both could use a mobile wallet to solve their problems.

    Branchless banking, mobile banking, mobile “wallets”, innovations in financial services are seeing thousands of poor and low-income people use their mobile phones to enter the financial system for the first time; to open accounts, get paid, save money and begin to move out of poverty. And so they came to Sydney last month for the first-ever Pacific Branchless Banking Seminar. From Timor Leste to Tonga, the Philippines to Fiji, from all over the Pacific and beyond. Bankers large and small, central and commercial, were joined by financial service providers, mobile network operators and technology providers to share new approaches to fostering financial inclusion in our region.