11 Mar 2013

On-line registry boosts Pacific law reform efforts, says expert

2:37 pm on 11 March 2013

An economist says the Pacific is the world leader in law reform in favour of private businesses, thanks to a new online registry project.

Dr Paul Holden, the lead economist on the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative, is speaking at a workshop today in Auckland organised by the Asian Development Bank.

The bank's project is aimed at helping small and large private business owners to register and operate more easily, with the help of an online company register.

Dr Holden says the project has already begun in seven Pacific nations, and addresses the need for the private sector to play a bigger role in Pacific economies.

"For us it's very exciting because we're really at very early days yet. We have done the reforms, we haven't quite finished implementing them, but already we are seeing results in terms of more loans. We are seeing results in terms of people for whom forming a company was out of reach."

Dr Paul Holden says the project has been particularly successful in Solomon Islands and Samoa and is set to assist Tonga, Vanuatu and others.