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
23 January 2024
ADB-Supported PPP Framework to Improve Infrastructure Service Delivery in PNG

PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (23 January 2024) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) welcomes a new framework for public–private partnerships (PPPs) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) aimed at unlocking private investment and know-how, and allowing PNG to expand and improve infrastructure service delivery.

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25 July 2023
Implementation of key SOE reforms in PNG will improve commercial performance — ADB report

The passage of significant reforms in PNG will empower Kumul Consolidated Holdings to effectively monitor SOEs and promote better transparency and accountability, according to new ADB PSDI report Finding Balance 2023.

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18 July 2023
PSDI experts support Samoa PPP framework

PSDI experts have worked alongside Samoa’s Ministry of Public Enterprises to deliver a new framework for public-private partnerships, and the efficient provision of public services.

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5 June 2023
Commercial focus crucial for Palau state-owned enterprises — ADB report

The absence of a clear commercial focus and monitoring framework for Palau’s SOEs has complicated efforts to improve their financial performance, according to ADB PSDI's Finding Balance 2023 report.

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Key Publications
PSDI Annual Report FY2022
PSDI Annual Report FY2022
This report gives an overview of PSDI activities from July 2021 to June 2022.
Finding Balance 2023: Benchmarking Performance and Building Climate Resilience in Pacific State-Owned Enterprises
Finding Balance 2023: Benchmarking Performance and Building ...
This report reviews the performance of SOEs in nine Pacific island economies and looks at how policymakers can help state-owned power utilities address climate risk.
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 Report FY2020
PSDI Annual Report FY2020
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 2020
PSDI Country Overviews 2020
What is PSDI doing in the Pacific? These factsheets provide an overview of all PSDI activities in the Pacific up to April 2020.