26 May 2011

Cook Island Finance Minister not keen on privatisation of state assets

1:42 pm on 26 May 2011

The Cook Island's Finance Minister says privatisation is one option being looked at as state owned enterprises review their operations, but it's not one he's seriously considering.

The Minister Mark Brown says SOEs are reviewing how they can provide services to the private sector in a way that increases economic activity.

He says there are no limits to the review, so one option being investigated is what gains could be made from privatising SOEs.

But Mr Brown says the government needs to remain a key player in shaping policy in areas such as transport and energy, and would need to consider how this would be affected by the sale of ports, airports or power companies.

"Well for me personally it's not really an option that I'm looking at seriously at all. There would have to be some very compelling reasons to get me to have a look at privatising some of our key strategic assets."

Mark Brown says he wants the Cook Islands to be in charge of its assets and privatisation could lead to foreign ownership.