State-owned Enterprise Reform and Public-Private Partnerships
We work with Pacific governments to improve the performance of state-owned enterprises and increase private sector involvement.
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are amongst the largest commercial entities in most Pacific countries, managing essential infrastructure such as ports, airports, and utilities, and providing a range of financial and other services.
Yet the contribution of these SOEs to economic growth is low, and the services provided are often high cost with low delivery standards and low productivity. Poor performing SOEs slow economic growth and increase the costs of doing business for private companies that depend on their services.
Pacific countries recognize the importance of improving SOE performance, and many have already adopted leading edge reform programs. The ability of Pacific SOEs to deliver a wide range of public infrastructure and services can also be enhanced by increased partnership with the private sector.
Progress has been made, but international and regional experience demonstrates that governments struggle to sustain improved SOE performance over time. Also, while SOEs remain under majority public ownership, politicians are likely to avoid commercial decisions that carry short-term political costs.
PSDI’s state-owned enterprise and public-private partnerships focus area works to improve the performance and efficiency of SOEs, by:
- supporting improvements to legal, regulatory, governance, and monitoring arrangements to strengthen SOEs’ commercial mandate, enhance transparency, and improve accountability for those SOEs that remain under majority public ownership, and
- helping to increase private sector involvement in SOEs through contracting out, PPPs, and privatizations.
State-Owned Enterprise Reform and Public Private Partnerships and COVID-19
For more information on PSDI's State-Owned Enterprise Reform and Public Private Partnerships focus area and COVID-19, click here.
State-owned Enterprise Reform and Public-Private Partnerships at a glance
SOE profitability doubled
Political influence reduced
11 privatizations or liquidations
Women on SOE boards
The absence of a clear commercial focus and monitoring framework for Palau’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) has complicated efforts to improve their financial performance, according to the Asian Development Bank's Finding Balance 2023 report.
The 2019 passage of SOE legislation in Fiji has improved the country’s governance and commercial framework but room exists for further improvement, according to ADB PSDI report Finding Balance 2023.
Solomon Islands’ robust legal framework for SOEs has helped generate the highest portfolio returns among nine Pacific island countries, a new ADB PSDI report says.
Samoa’s prioritization of SOE reform over the past 8 years has provided a platform for more efficient service delivery, according to a new ADB PSDI report.