9 March 2015

PSDI Newsroom

3 March 2015

ADB Co-Hosts 4th Pacific Business Registries Workshop 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Senior government officials from 10 Pacific island nations, development partners and experts in private sector development gathered today at Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s office in Sydney to share their knowledge and report on progress made in the region’s expanding business registration sector. The 4th Pacific Business Registries Workshop, a 2-day event co-hosted by ADB and the New Zealand Companies Office (NZCO), will again be moderated by advisors from the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI). The PSDI has been helping Pacific island governments improve their business climates through company law reforms and online business registries, in partnership with NZCO.

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.

2 December 2014

Tonga’s Innovative Online Business Registry Goes Live – ADB

NUKU ĽALOFA, 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.

4 March 2015

Top 8 issues emerge at Pacific Business Registries Workshop

The 4th Pacific Business Registries Workshop, a two-day event co-hosted by ADB and the New Zealand Companies Office (NZCO), was held earlier this week in Sydney and over the course of discussions among experts and officials from 10 Pacific island nations, eight key issues emerged that will occupy the Pacific's registry developers, in the short to medium term (ranked in order of importance):
  1. E-payments/Online Payments  – in an age of booming e-commerce many registries still labour under cumbersome and time consuming payments systems;
  2. Ongoing support and upgrades for registries  – the technical assistance from development partners is valued but the demand for assistance is currently outstripping capacity;
  3. Linkages with other registries – countries should be developing their online registries to account for expansion to other categories such as tax, customs and charities;
  4. Legislation – compliance/enforcement are key and need to be undergoing constant process improvement;
  5. Data reporting – more functionality and software development is needed to meet  constantly expanding needs of business and government;
  6. Clarity around secured transactions –  perceived as a complex area, governments need to ensure secured transactions frameworks are adequately understood both within government and among the broader public; 
  7. Awareness raising programs  –  countries need to ensure their citizens are aware and educated about business registries to encourage their use;
  8. The Digital Divide  – the gap between who does and does not have access to the internet and connectivity must be bridged and until it is, analogue systems that people know and trust should be maintained.
The workshop was again moderated by advisors from the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), which is cofinanced by ADB and the Governments of Australia and New Zealand. Since 2007 PSDI and its partners have assisted in the implementation of electronic business registries in eight Pacific countries: Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa.

The workshop heard first-hand updates from individual countries, complemented by technical presentations covering the latest international trends in electronic payments systems, e-government, and implementation options. What became clear is that while some countries are facing challenges, the Pacific as a region is leading the world in harnessing the power of registries to drive private sector and economic development.