23 Apr 2015

ADB calls for more political will in Pacific SOE reforms

9:08 am on 23 April 2015

The Asian Development Bank is calling on Pacific leaders to put more support behind efforts to reform their poorly performing state-owned enterprises.

The ADB today launches its Finding Balance 2014 report in Solomon Islands and says it is the best performing country in the region.

The ADB's SOE reform specialist, Laure Darcy, says the country has turned around its airlines, electricity and water authorities in space of four years thanks to strong political commitment to the reform process.

"In those three years we have gone from an average return on equity of negative twelve percent to positive ten percent. And it also shows that you can divest of loss making SOE's and they can actually generate revenues. Not only for the sale but also you know create jobs down the road when private investment is put back into them."

Laure Darcy says countries like Papua New Guinea and Samoa used to be active reformers but have since slowed their efforts.