Warid Calls For Pacific Islanders To Work At ADB

We need more Pacific Islanders to work in the Asian Development Bank. These were the words of Liliana Warid, Senior Private Sector Development Officer with ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Co-ordination
04 Mar 2017 11:00
Warid Calls For Pacific Islanders To Work At ADB
From left: Acting Registrar of Companies Ashley Sharma, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, vice president of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Council Eseta Nadakuitavuki, ADB Private Sector Development Specialist Liliana Warid and Fiji Sun Managing editor production Maraia Vula.

We need more Pacific Islanders to work in the Asian Development Bank.

These were the words of Liliana Warid, Senior Private Sector Development Officer with ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Co-ordination Office in Sydney, Australia.

“It’s a great opportunity to work for an organisation like ADB that has a direct impact on the development of our region,” Mrs Warid

“I’d love to see more Pacific Islanders here supporting these efforts.”

She was one of the facilitators during the two days ADB’s Pacific Business Registries Workshop at the ADB Pacific Liaison and Co-ordination Office in Sydney, Australia.

The workshop was co-hosted by ADB through a technical assistance of Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), and the New Zealand Companies Office.


Role at ADB

“I am responsible for managing ADB’s efforts to support private sector development across our 14 Pacific member countries.

“Our key program in this sector is the Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), which is jointly funded by ADB and the Governments of Australia and New Zealand.

“The programme focuses on creating an environment that makes it easier to do business in the Pacific through five key areas: access to finance, business law reform, competition, state owned enterprises and public-private partnerships, and economic empowerment of women.

“PSDI also has an analytical work stream that has delivered private sector assessments for eight countries and other publications specific to each work area.

“ An exciting publication coming out soon is our book Pacific Women in Business, which will be launched in Fiji in April.

“The biggest part of my role is project management, so I work with a large team of consultants to ensure we are delivering on the commitments we have made with countries.

“I also manage new requests for support from governments and  constantly review our operations to ensure we are operating efficiently and managing our budgets well.

“I am also responsible for maintaining the relationship with our donors in Australia and New Zealand. It’s a fascinating role because it leaves me well positioned to identify new areas of support for private sector development in the Pacific.

“We are developing a strategy this year to articulate such opportunities, which is very exciting.”

Mrs Warid joined ADB in September 2016.

“ADB has a good relationship with the countries across the Pacific so the Governments always communicate their needs to us through an existing process so no advice needed there really.

“That said, I would encourage all countries, and not just in the Pacific, to look at the achievements of Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

“Inform yourselves of the support that is available. I have learnt so much myself about the support that is accessible to everyone in the Pacific.

“Search online or visit your small business support unit if you have one.

“Whatever you do, don’t give up as soon as you hit a speed bump – support is there, use it.”



She said the key challenges are aligned to the work sectors as she mentioned earlier.

“The ones I hear most about from countries I visit are the difficulty to access finance to start a business or to expand, and technical business skills like bookkeeping, business case development for funding from financial institutions, marketing, and general business management.”


Advice  for young people

“Don’t restrict yourselves by focusing on a single role or even a sector. Allow yourself to be open to any opportunity and choose your next steps by what a role offers, not by what the title is.

“ Along that journey your strengths and passions will become clearer, you will be constantly challenged and you will excel at what you do as you will be, what I like to term as, “operating in your gifts”.

“We’re all uniquely created so don’t look at what the next person is doing – focus on learning new things and adding value by using your current strengths and you can’t go wrong.

“It’s also very important to surround yourself with the right people and ask for help, don’t try to be a hero.”


About Mrs Warid

Mrs Warid grew up in Fiji and is is originally from Vanuabalavu in Lau.

“Firstly, I am a wife and mother of two children, 17 and seven-years-old.

“I am the eldest of four siblings with three younger brothers and have grown up and lived in Fiji most of my life.

“I’ve spent the last 14 years in the private sector working in Fiji in various regional (Pacific) roles and more recently in Vanuatu.

“I am passionate about seeing progress in the Pacific, both economic and social, and have a strong belief that I can effect change where ever I am.”

edited by: kathrin krishna



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