SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Senior government officials from 10 Pacific island nations, development partners and experts in private sector development gathered today at Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s office in Sydney to share their knowledge and report on progress made in the region’s expanding business registration sector.

The 4th Pacific Business Registries Workshop, a 2-day event co-hosted by ADB and the New Zealand Companies Office (NZCO), will again be moderated by advisors from the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI). The PSDI has been helping Pacific island governments improve their business climates through company law reforms and online business registries, in partnership with NZCO.

“The Pacific is leading the world in the adoption of state-of-the-art business registries,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney, Australia. “Our partnership with the New Zealand Companies Office continues to result in favorable outcomes for the Pacific and this fourth biennial workshop allows Pacific island governments to take stock of the advances that are being made.”

Participants will hear first-hand updates from individual countries, complemented by technical presentations covering the latest international trends in electronic payments systems, e-government, and implementation options. Finally, PSDI will address the economic benefits of registry reform and the role of registries in private sector development.

Established in 2006, PSDI is a regional technical assistance facility cofinanced by ADB and the governments of Australia and New Zealand. PSDI works with ADB's 14 Pacific developing member countries to improve the enabling environment for business and to support inclusive, private sector-led economic growth.

PSDI and its partners have assisted since 2007 in the implementation of electronic business registries in eight Pacific countries: Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa.

NZCO is a recognized world leader in the use of information technology to enable online registries. Its Deputy Registrar of Companies, Michael Brosnahan, said he was delighted that the ADB partnership was demonstrating benefits for the region.

“Small island states that have embraced online registries are seeing a great transformation in the way business is being done in the region,” Mr. Brosnahan added.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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