12 May 2009
A special presentation was carried out this morning at the Dr Egan Moulton Memorial Hall of the Free Weslyan Church by a team from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) who did a study titled as ‘Finding Balance: Making State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Work in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.'
Opening the session this morning was the Minister for Finance & National Planning and Public Enterprises Hon. Afu'alo Matoto who thanked the team from ADB for conducting the survey of the SOEs in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
The Minister said that "We had a workshop earlier this year in March in Auckland, which was organised by the ADB, and we had some representatives from Tonga, I was a participant in the workshop, the Prime Minister of Samoa and Minister for Finance from Samoa were also participants. Also, we had the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, and an Officer from the Public Enterprises in Fiji. So we discussed the results of this survey, and so we discussed how we can do things to improve the performances of Public Enterprise's and it was also apparent in this workshop that other countries in the Pacific want to be included in a future survey, like the Solomons, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu. They like to come on board and be included in this survey."
The Minister highlighted that the outcome of the survey showed that most of the PE's are not making the necessary return to the State who are the owners of these Enterprises. "In fact, many of them are producing negative results, and here in Tonga, we have enterprises which are doing well, some enterprises are not doing so well, and some enterprises are not doing well at all. I think that our objective, is to make all the enterprises perform well and provide a good return to the shareholder, and that is really our primary objective."
Presenting the survey was Laure Darcy from the ADB office in Sydney who stated that the purpose of the study was to demonstrate the need for and benefits from SOE reform in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga, and to identify successful reform strategies to inform future policy action.
Ms Darcy also outlined the key findings of the survey among those countries and pointed out the areas for development for the reform strategies which included Legislation, Governance and Monitoring.
Attending the presentation this morning were CEO's of the Public Enterprises (PEs) in Tonga as well as board members of the PEs and the staff of the Ministry of Public Enterprises.
[Issued and Published by the Ministry of Information, www.minfo.gov.to]