PSDI Experts address Palau Economic Symposium
Three Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) experts have given presentations to this month’s Palau Economic Symposium, hosted by the country’s Ministry of Finance and focused on new pathways to economic growth.
The symposium, held in Koror from November 16 to November 18, sought to raise awareness and build consensus for Palauan reform measures, including the recent passage of the PSDI-supported Corporations Act.
State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) Reform and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Expert Laure Darcy addressed the symposium on improving SOE performance in Palau, and using PPPs to expand infrastructure investment.
Ms Darcy also outlined the government of Palau’s preparation of a new SOE bill, based on the recently reissued SOE Policy, which would enforce higher commercial standards and ministerial oversight, and apply a robust director appointment process.
Ms Darcy later participated in a public forum on infrastructure financing, and the importance of the private sector as a development financing mechanism.
PSDI SOE Reform and PPP Expert Laure Darcy addresses the Palau Economic Symposium.
Business Law Reform Expert Terry Reid spoke on promoting business start-ups in Palau, and PSDI’s assistance developing the new Corporations Act.
The act streamlines the registration and operation of corporations, facilitates global anti-money laundering compliance, and strengthens director duties.
“It sets Palau up very nicely to get into some very exciting work in regard to the general enabling environment,” Mr Reid told the symposium. “Enabling environment reform takes time—and Palau has done a remarkable job in the past 10 years to get those key pieces of legislation through.
“In time it will allow Palau to implement a fully electronic online business registry.”
Tourism Expert Sara Currie discussed PSDI’s support for a safe reopening of tourism in Palau, and the means by which the country can best benefit.
Dr Currie also updated the symposium—attended by senior Palau government, finance and business figures—on PSDI’s publication of a regional tourism assessment, “Looking Forward Vol. 1: Evaluating the Challenges for Pacific tourism after COVID-19”, as well as 14 country tourism snapshots.
Dr Currie said a focus on cooperation and tourism resource sharing across the Pacific could help countries bounce back faster from the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted widespread tourism shutdowns.
She also lauded Palau’s continued advocacy for a sustainable, high-yield tourism sector.