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Finding Balance 2016: Benchmarking the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises in Island Countries

Publication | September 2016
Finding Balance 2016: Benchmarking the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises in Island Countries

This study of state-owned enterprises performance in the Pacific emphasizes political commitment to reform as a key driver for commercial results.

Pacific state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are often formed to increase service delivery effectiveness and accountability. However, historical and financial indicators show that long-term government ownership of SOEs often result in outcomes counter to these goals. Weak governance and regulatory frameworks make it difficult for SOEs to operate on strict commercial principles over the long term. This study of SOE performance in the Pacific emphasizes political commitment to reform as a key driver for commercial results, as demonstrated by the experience of each of the countries benchmarked.

The 10 participating countries (Fiji, Kiribati, Jamaica, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu) were selected for their comparability and SOE reform experience. Their participation demonstrates their governments’ willingness to identify and address the core issues within their SOE sectors. This transparency is an essential precursor to successful reform.

About the publication

Finding Balance is produced by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative, a regional technical assistance facility cofinanced by ADB, the Government of Australia, and the Government of New Zealand. This is the fifth comparative study of SOE performance in the Pacific undertaken by ADB, and the first to include Kiribati and Vanuatu. At the request of the Pacific island countries participating in the study, each edition expands the number of countries covered. In this edition, New Zealand and Singapore were added to enrich the global benchmark.

Contents 

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Economic Impact of the State-Owned Enterprise Portfolios
  • Country Diagnostics
  • Challenges of State-Owned Enterprise Reform
  • Good Practice and the Way Forward
  • Appendixes