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 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
27 September 2019
New PSDI report benchmarks the performance of state-owned banks in the Pacific

Commercially oriented state-owned banks can help provide much-needed financing for businesses in the Pacific, but only if they adhere to commercial principles and regulations, according to PSDI’s latest Finding Balance report.

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22 March 2019
Tonga to build South Pacific's largest solar plant under PSDI supported PPP

A PSDI-supported public-private partnership signed in Nuku’alofa yesterday will see the largest solar plant in the south Pacific built in Tonga.

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21 March 2019
South Pacific's Biggest Solar Plant to Help Tonga Meet Renewable Energy Target

NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA (21 March 2019) — The largest solar plant in the south Pacific will be built in Tonga through the country’s second commercially financed public-private partnership (PPP) after an agreement was signed in Nuku’alofa today.

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24 January 2019
New SOE Policy Will Secure Solomon Islands' Legacy as Pacific's Leading Investment Manager — ADB

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS (24 January 2019) — Solomon Islands’ new, commercially oriented state-owned enterprise (SOE) policy will help ensure the government’s public investments remain efficient and profitable, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

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Key Publications
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.
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.
PSDI Annual Progress Report 2017–2018
PSDI Annual Progress Report 2017–2018
This report gives an overview of PSDI activities from June 2017 to June 2018.
Papua New Guinea Country Overview 2018
Papua New Guinea Country Overview 2018
What is PSDI doing in the Papua New Guinea?
PSDI’s Second Newsletter: July–December 2016
PSDI’s Second Newsletter: July–December 2016
This newsletter looks back at PSDI activities over the period July-December 2016.