Vice President Alik Announces the Establishment of an FSM National Trade Facilitation Committee
Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): January 23, 2008 - In a speech at the Central Facilities Building in Palikir, Pohnpei this morning, FSM Vice President Alik Alik told the participants in the Fisheries and Trade Policy Consultative Meeting that he expects to be calling a meeting of the National Trade Facilitation Committee.
FSM President Emanuel Mori called for the establishment of the National Trade Facilitation Committee in Executive Order No. 34 issued on January 14, 2008. The Committee will consist of Government leaders, representatives from the Private Sector, and representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations from the FSM. The order called for the establishment of the committee within 30 days. The Committee is to have written recommendations to the President's office within six months of the order. Vice President Alik is to be the committee's chairperson.
Vice President Alik, in his speech said that the Economic Planning and Implementation Council passed a resolution in 2005 that called for the establishment of the committee but after three years nothing had yet been done. He said that the FSM has been participating in international trade negotiations without a comprehensive trade policy to guide it and that fact has been hampering the FSM's participation in international trade.
"In light of the declining compact funding, it is necessary and indeed imperative for FSM to start looking for solutions on how to achieve self sustenance and sustainable development. If all the parties work together, trade and investment in the FSM have the potential to lift our nation from economic malaise, underdevelopment and hardship," said the Vice President.
He said that besides having one of the world's most productive tuna resources, there is also a potential in the services sector of the economy, particularly in the area of tourism. He also pointed out that there is potential in the temporal movement of the FSM's citizens to work abroad and called upon the education system to upgrade their vocational training centers so that the relevant skills can be marketed globally. He said more work needs to be done to add value to FSM's agricultural commodities so that an export market could be developed.
He challenged the gathered participants saying, "The ball is now in our court. We can either watch these opportunities slip through our fingers or we can start working hard now. I know it's not going to be easy, but if we work together, it will be manageable."
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