Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Micronesian Trade Ministers Meeting

Palikir, POHNPEI (Department of Resource & Development): July 4, 2008 - The Ministers responsible for Trade, The Honorable Peter M. Christian from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), The Honorable Fredrick Muller from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and The Honorable Temmy L. Shmull from the Republic of Palau, met in Pohnpei, FSM, from July 1-3, 2008, to formally establish a Micronesian Trade Committee (MTC) and to consider a wide range of trade-related issues of importance to the three Freely Associated States (FAS).

Recognizing that trade issues were becoming of increased importance for the sustainable development of each of the FAS and, giving effect to decisions made at the Micronesian Presidents' Summit held on September 5, 2007, the Ministers established the MTC comprised of Ministers from each of the FAS.

Through the MTC, the FAS will be better placed to collectively address trade-related issues of concern to each country as well as to coordinate their policy positions relating to trade with the United States, regional trade agreements such as the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) and the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) as well as international trade negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.

During their deliberations, Ministers stressed the need to give priority to overcoming quarantine and other problems that restrict trade among the FAS, while also participating as actively as possible in other regional trading initiatives. Because of the shortage of expertise in the FAS, Ministers agreed on the need to share expertise among all three FAS wherever possible.

Ministers also discussed various trade-related provisions of their Compact Agreements with the United States and their relevance to the FAS' future trade, both with the United States and their implications for the FAS' trade with other countries. Ministers agreed that those provisions would require more detailed analysis and directed officials to carry out that work and make recommendations for consideration at the next MTC meeting.

Assisting the Ministers during the meeting were officials from the three countries as well as the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

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