Key Projects of Kiribati
The economy of Kiribati is largely dependent on foreign aid and revenue from fishing. In 2012, in order to maximise returns from its fishery resources, the government partnered with Golden Ocean Fish of Fiji and Shanghai Deep Sea Fishing of China to establish the country’s first fish processing plant, which was developed under a public–private partnership. The creation of Kiribati Fish is hoped to assist in the equitable and sustainable development of Kiribati’s fishing resources, while simultaneously aiding the economy’s growth by employing hundreds of people on the capital island of Tarawa. There are future plans for the PPP to begin construction of a second plant on Kiritimati Island.
As a part of the country’s SOE reform effort, the government requested the assistance of the International Finance Corporation to find a private sector partner to assist in restoring and operating the state-owned Otintaai Hotel. Kiribati has few hotels so the project is critical for providing suitable accommodation to visitors. Local firm Royal Crown Enterprises won the tender in what will be Kiribati’s first PPP in the tourism sector. The concession was granted in September 2013 and will be carried out over a period of 25 years. During this time Royal Crown will modernise and manage the 40-room hotel, providing accommodation equivalent to a three-star rating by Australia’s official accommodation accreditation system.
Due to its small size and limited private sector, the Republic of Kiribati has long depended on the public sector and foreign aid for its economic development. The government has expressed a desire to reform the country’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs), further develop its infrastructure and lay the foundation for growth in the private sector. Since the beginning of the 2010s, the Government of Kiribati has been working with the Asian Development Bank on strategies to restructure SOEs. Following an evaluation in 2012, action plans for non-performing SOEs were proposed, and in April 2013 during a session of parliament an SOE Act was passed, providing an improved governance framework. Several SOEs will continue to operate with the assistance of public-private partnership agreements, while others will be sold, liquidated or turned into joint ventures in the future.