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.