26 February 2015

ADB Deepens Fiji Partnership with Assistance on Access to Credit

SUVA, FIJI – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is deepening its re-engagement with Fiji, partnering with the government to improve access to credit and to secure a stronger financial sector through secured transactions reform.

Following meetings in January with Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, ADB will assist the new Secured Transactions Reform Taskforce which held its inaugural meeting here today. The taskforce, which ADB will assist, brings together representatives from banks, credit unions, microfinance institutions, community groups and government agencies and will be chaired by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Barry Whiteside. It will provide government with a roadmap to implement secured transactions through new laws and the establishment of public online registries.

“ADB is encouraged by Fiji’s decision to embrace these reforms and is excited to be assisting in their implementation,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney. “Adopting a secured transactions framework will allow Fiji’s borrowers to use their movable assets as collateral for loans, and if loans go unpaid laws will be in place to ensure lenders have the certainty to easily enforce their rights over secured property.”

18 February 2015

PSDI corporate training embraced by Solomons businesswomen

The demand  for skilled company directors in Solomon Islands is matched only by the need that they be fully aware of their duties, liabilities and responsibilities. 

Now a group of enthusiastic Solomon Islands executives, mostly women, have praised a course in Corporate Governance and Management, conducted over the past six months by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) and the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI). 

“I came here to learn," said company director Lynette daWheya. "This has been very good for me both professionally and personally... I didn't realise I had so much responsibility as a director."

Legal reforms supported by PSDI and culminating in the passage of the Companies Act (2009), have seen a significant increase in new company incorporations, which climbed from 127 in 2008 to 354 in 2014. Under the Act, company directors have a duty to act in good faith and in the best interests of the company. PSDI-sponsored reform of State-Owned Enterprises in recent years has seen dramatic improvement in their efficiency and profitability. These reformed institutions also need well-trained directors and senior executives to ensure effective governance.

With limited opportunities in Solomon Islands to acquire the necessary skills and knowhow, PSDI partnered with SICCI to offer a course that meets the country's needs, while ensuring the pool of directors includes more women. Of the 15 participants who completed the course, 11 were women.