STATE-OWNED Enterprises (SOEs) play a critical role in our economy, Permanent Secretary for Finance and Treasury, Fred Fakarii, says.
He was speaking while opening the SOE forum held in Honiara, Wednesday.
Mr Fakarii outlined the Government’s expectations of SOEs and emphasized the important role they play in the economy.
“SOEs play a critical role in our economy, by delivering vital services to the people and contributing to the economy through job creation and skills development,” Mr Fakarii said.
“SOEs will play an important role in achieving the Government’s development aspirations and creating an environment for private sector investment in the country,” he added.
Referring to the ADB’s Finding Balance 2014 report, the Permanent Secretary recognised the achievements so far on SOE Reform in Solomon Island, but cautioned against becoming complacent.
Mr Fakarii emphasised that “it remains critical that we ensure the recent gains are sustained and improved on, while being committed to manage lingering vulnerabilities”.
In this regard, SOEs were encouraged to strive to operate in a commercial manner to ensure good quality services are provided to the community.
The Forum provided a valuable opportunity to bring together SOEs and other officials to share their experiences and discuss the issues confronting small businesses.
It was useful for SOEs to discuss how they could learn from previous reform efforts, including other Pacific countries, and how they could contribute to the Government development aspirations.
The DCC Government’s policy statement has highlighted its commitment to SOE reform, which includes introducing new measures to facilitate access and expansion of business opportunities in the country.
Other speakers at the SOE Forum included New Zealand’s former Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Richard Prebble and Laure Darcy the co-author of the ADB’s Finding Balance report.
Participants at the forum included SOE Board members and executives, officials from the government line ministries, Australia High Commission, New Zealand High Commission, Asian Development Bank, European Union, World Bank and Japan International Corporation Agency.