Pacific leading in on-line business registeries
ADB says on-line company registrations are helping to foster business in Pacific Island countries.
The Asian Development Bank says the Pacific leads the world in state-of-the-art business registry systems and it is helping to foster economic growth.
Senior government officials from 10 Pacific nations, along with development partners and experts in private sector development are meeting in the ADB's Sydney this week to share what they have learnt.
Anthony Frazier is a consultant with the ADB and Don Wiseman asked him why it is important for businesses to be registered.
ANTHONY FRAZIER: Well two things. One you bring certainty to entities that other businesses are entering contracts with. You can go on line, search against the company, find out who its directors are and know that the person sitting across the table from you is indeed a director of a company and that that company is in compliance with the law. So it brings certainty to an economic setting. The person who walks into a bank and claims that they represent a company, the banker can go online to check immediately that they are indeed who they say they are and that the company is in compliance.
DON WISEMAN: And that detail is ideally online and so that is why you want the online registration?
AF: That's exactly right. It is online and searches are free, so anyone in Tonga or indeed in the world can go online and search that information in real time.
DW: Yes but you are dealing with a lot of very small communities and everyone knows everyone else, don't they?
AF: Well that is not entirely the case. Tonga has several different island groups and just because you are sitting in Tongatapu it doesn't mean that you know people in Vava'u, but they might indeed be your suppliers for vegetables. So it helps to know people around the country. There are also over 1000 companies in Tonga and there are over 4000 business licences. So that is a pretty large business community, actually.
DW: Tonga is one of the countries in the region that has embraced this but what about the rest of the region?
AF: Solomon Islands has a very similar system that works very well for them. Samoa has a system in place and Vanuatu is just about to go live with the system so this reform is being rolled out throughout the Pacific region that are the ADB partner countries.
DW: This is a workshop where the different registrars from around the region can share ideas, share success stories, lessons learned from each other. It allows the community of registrars to interact with one another and to really have a synergistic effect, learning from each other.
DW: So their systems would get better.
DW: What has come to the fore so far?
AF: Well this the fourth such forum we have held with the countries so this is an ongoing reform that the ADB has been championing throughout the region. There is a lot of the same people at each of the forums and that really helps the community move forward, learning from each other and seeing what successes have occurred along the way. Also learning the challenges that they have overcome because there are many common issues faced by remote island countries.
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