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.

“As we finish PSDI’s eighth year, its success and longevity are now powerful drivers for promoting ongoing reform in the region. This in turn contributes to poverty alleviation in our Pacific DMCs,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney.

Applying a rigorous, diagnostic yet flexible approach, PSDI’s expert team works with other ADB offices to provide technical assistance and support services in policy and program development, advocacy, legislative and administrative reform, capacity building and technology project management.

In the financial year 2013-2014, PSDI allocated US$4,806,267 to deliver these services across five core focus areas: improving access to credit and financial services, modernizing business laws, reforming state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and promoting PPPs, promoting competition and consumer protection frameworks, and advancing the economic empowerment of women.

PSDI is also well known for its strong analytical work of the Pacific business environment. Its country-level Private Sector Assessments present recommendations to assist governments and the private sector with structuring and implementing reforms to achieve maximum development impact. In 2014 PSDI launched three major reports, including the latest in the influential Finding Balance series benchmarking SOEs in small island economies.

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. In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21.0 billion, including cofinancing of $6.6 billion.