Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

National Trade Facilitation Committee holds one day meeting in Pohnpei

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): April 5, 2010 - The National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) has come together in Pohnpei for a one-day meeting to discuss some issues of critical importance for FSM and for the state governments. This will be the 3rd time the committee has met. The meeting kicked off at 8:45 AM on Friday April 1, 2010 at the Pohnpei State Small Business Development Center and was opened by Vice President Alik and Acting Secretary of the Department of Resources and Development (R&D), Mr. Marion Henry.

At the opening, the Vice President, who was serving as the Chairman since the last meeting, welcomed the participants, who represented the members from each state's committee on Trade and people from NGO's and the Chuuk Chamber of Commerce. The Acting Secretary of R&D also gave opening remarks that focused on the objectives for the meeting which are; to bring together members of the Committee to focus collectively on the implementation of the trade policy; to talk about investment and export development in the FSM; to discuss the establishment of the FSM Association of Chambers of Commerce; and to discuss the FSM's participation in ongoing trade negotiations. Through the day's discussions, the Acting Secretary hopes that the group can forge a way forward on such things as trade development, income generation and conservation of resources.

The Vice President, as Chairman of the NTFC, then gave remarks that focused the group on the various issues that are relevant to the FSM Trade Policy and asked them to collectively consider and address some of the important challenges facing the economy, including measures to enhance investment in the services sector, export development strategies to help reduce the current trade deficit, private sector development initiatives and approaches to maximize FSM's participation in ongoing trade negotiations. The Vice President stated that FSM requires a more coordinated approach of all national and state agencies in their dealing with trade and trade-related issues, especially with regard to the FSM's engagement with global and regional trade and investment opportunities. He urged the participants to carefully consider options to enhance the effectiveness of the NTFC and establish subcommittees to help deliver out-of session decisions to support the implementation of the FSM's trade policy objectives.

Some of the expected outcomes of the meeting are anticipated to be: adopting modalities for NTFC's out of sessions-meetings; adoption of the proposed standardized definition of investment concepts, reporting format and timeframe; adoption of a pragmatic and realistic approach for handling trade consultations with the US pursuant to Section 244 of the Amended Compact; adoption of reports for the PICTA_TIS survey; discussion and endorsement of a way forward for FSM's involvement in the Economic Partnership Agreement (between PACPS and the EU) and PICTA (the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement) Negotiations.

Mr. Steven George, Director of the Kosrae State Department of Resource & Economic Affairs, was elected by the participants as the new Chairman of this 3rd meeting. A follow up press release will detail the actual outcomes of the meeting.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356