MANILA, PHILIPPINES (3 December 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million policy-based loan to improve the operational performance and financial sustainability of state-owned enterprises (SOE) in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

“ADB has long been engaged in SOE reforms in PNG and built strong relationships with several SOEs,” said Director of the Social Sectors and Public Sector Management Division of ADB’s Pacific Department Ananya Basu. “The Government of PNG has made good progress on reforms and remains committed to improving the performance of its SOE portfolio.”

SOEs provide some of PNG’s most critical services, including energy, water, telecommunications, ports, and air transport. The ADB-supported PNG SOE Reform Program aims to help SOEs deliver high-quality services at affordable prices. The program will support policy actions that help to reduce unsustainable borrowing practices, improve accountability and transparency, and encourage private sector participation in service delivery.

ADB has adopted a programmatic approach to strengthen the legislative and policy framework for corporate governance and improve the financial sustainability of SOEs. The program comprises three annual subprograms, which are designed to progress reforms while meeting the government’s budget support needs. ADB’s program is aligned with the government’s own SOE reform plans.

The program supports ADB’s Strategy 2030 operational priorities focused on strengthening governance and institutional capacity by promoting SOE reforms to improve service delivery and accelerating progress in gender equality by increasing women’s representation on SOE boards.

ADB has coordinated closely with key development partners to design the program, including the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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