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.