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

Infrastructure SOEs’ return on assets increased by more than 100% in Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga

Improvements supported

in the SOE legal, regulatory, governance, and monitoring arrangements in 11 Pacific countries.

Public-private partnerships

are expanding the ability of SOEs to deliver a wide range of public infrastructure and services in 8 countries.

Political influence reduced

Government officials replaced on 13 SOE boards in 4 countries (PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga)

11 privatizations or liquidations

completed or underway in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga

Women on SOE boards

Female representation on SOE boards increased by an average of 48% in Fiji, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
Latest News
9 March 2022
Director Selection Processes Critical to SOE performance—PSDI

Pacific governments can ensure the best outcomes for their state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by reducing political influence in the director selection process and hiring candidates with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to address the SOE’s challenges, according to a new PSDI policy brief.

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4 March 2022
ADB Welcomes PPP Legislation for Improving Service Delivery in PNG

The Asian Development Bank has welcomed the passing of the Public-Private Partnership (Amendment) Act in Papua New Guinea, which will increase private sector investment and participation in essential infrastructure and improve service delivery.

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1 December 2021
ADB welcomes new legislation to improve SOEs in PNG

The Asian Development Bank has welcomed the publication of the Kumul Consolidated Holdings Authorisation (Amendment) Act 2021 in Papua New Guinea’s National Gazette, a key step in efforts to reform state-owned enterprise governance.

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1 October 2021
Papua New Guinea’s National Executive Council endorses legislation to promote private sector involvement in infrastructure service delivery

Papua New Guinea’s National Executive Council has endorsed the PSDI-supported Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Amendment Bill and Regulations.

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Key Publications
State-Owned Enterprises: Board Nomination Practices in the Pacific
State-Owned Enterprises: Board Nomination Practices in the P...
This policy brief challenges policymakers to consider a transparent and objective board nomination process as critical to an SOE’s prospects of achieving its commercial and operational goals.
PSDI Annual Progress Report FY2019–2020
PSDI Annual Progress Report FY2019–2020
This report gives an overview of PSDI activities from July 2019 to June 2020.
PSDI 2007-2019 Activities and Results Overview
PSDI 2007-2019 Activities and Results Overview
PSDI ended its third funding phase on 31 December 2019. This brochure, designed to mark the end of that phase, highlights key activities and results during PSDI's first three phases (2007-2019).
PSDI Country Overviews April 2020
PSDI Country Overviews April 2020
What is PSDI doing in the Pacific? These factsheets provide an overview of all PSDI activities in the Pacific up to April 2020.
PSDI Annual Progress Report 2018–2019
PSDI Annual Progress Report 2018–2019
This report gives an overview of PSDI activities from July 2018 to June 2019.
Finding Balance 2019: Benchmarking the Performance of State-owned Banks in the Pacific
Finding Balance 2019: Benchmarking the Performance of State-...
This report profiles the roles, performance, market context, and regulatory frameworks of 13 state-owned banks in 10 Pacific countries.