By Pita Ligaiula in Sydney, Australia

SYDNEY, 03 MARCH 2017 (PACNEWS) — Pacific Island Countries are leading the world in the reform of business law and registries, according to an expert from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI).

Speaking to PACNEWS at the Pacific Business Registries workshop in Sydney, Anthony Frazier says the online business registries implemented under the PSDI in the Pacific is more sophisticated than the number one economic superpower in the world, the United States.


“Obviously the economies are very different but I would say with regards to business law reform and registries, really the Pacific in some aspect is leading the world.

“The online registry we put in the Pacific are more sophisticated than in most of the 50 states in the United States. You can conduct all your business online in the registries in the Pacific whereas in the U.S, often times you are limited in what you transact online because they have older technologies.

“In the Pacific we are starting with a blank slate so we are able to put in more modern technologies and it’s made a huge difference,” Frazier told PACNEWS.

For the last 10 years PSDI had hosted successful business law and registry reforms in Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and right across the board.

“PSDI through ADB has been very successful. We think there’s been a significant impact on Ministry of Commerce and various agencies that run these registries and the law reform has made it much easier for people to start their business. That’s the whole point for people to be able to make their own livelihood. They were trying to create a framework to be able to do so,” Frazier pointed out.

Frazier said the reforms has enabled lending institutions in the region to provide credit to more businesses following the launch of their online registry that makes it easier to accept movable property  such as machinery, accounts receivable, or inventory as collateral.

He said the convenience and accessibility of the registry will also encourage non-bank suppliers such as wholesalers, agricultural stores, exporters, and vehicle dealerships to extend credit, as this can now be secured against their customers’ business assets or products.

“We found governments to be very cooperative.

“The reforms put in place were not controversial. What we trying to do is remove laws that create barriers to people being able to start business and there is really no controversial around that.

“We’ve also put in laws that make it easier for people to use moveable property as collateral for loans. Banks often times use land as collateral. In the Pacific not many people have access to land, so the new laws that allow movable property like equipment, trucks, restaurant equipment, even accounts receivable to be used as collateral really opens up business opportunities for small business to gain credit where they did not have opportunity before,” Frazier stressed.

Frazier told PACNEWS the workshop was a good platform for more than 13 Pacific countries to share experiences and lesson learnt from reforms undertaken in their respective countries.

“We think these workshops are great because we get to hear the experiences from 13 countries. Often times the issues are very similar but sometimes the solution a bit different. Countries are able to learn from one another on the different approaches taken to these issues and work out and determine what’s best for them.

“We have some commonalities that make it easier for them to speak the same language and to share these experiences. Hearing successes from their neighbours gives them incentives to continue the work they are doing in their own country,”  said Frazier… PACNEWS [/restrict]