Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Mori delivered Opening Remarks at the Opening of the First Northern Pacific Public-Private Sector Dialogue

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): December 5, 2011 - The First Northern Pacific Public-Private Sector Dialogue was officially opened on November 30, 2011 at Truk Stop Hotel Conference in Weno, Chuuk. The Dialogue, which was focused on power utilities, telecommunication, air transport and shipping and trade, was organized and facilitated by the Pacific Island Private Sector Organization (PIPSO).

H.E. Emmanuel Mori, President of the FSM, was welcomed by PIPSO Vice-Chairman, Mr. Epa Tuioti, who recalled that PIPSO was established by the Forum Economic Ministers in 2005 in recognition of the role the private sector plays in promoting economic development of the Forum Island Countries. PIPSO's key mandate is to strengthen businesses through technical support and advice, promote and support effective Public-Private Sector Dialogue, and advocate the interests of the private sector in national, regional and international discussions. He expressed the hope that the Northern Pacific Public-Sector Dialogue, which was the first of a series to be conducted within the entire Pacific Region, would contribute to enhance understanding between the Public and the Private sector in the areas identified.

In his opening statement, H.E. Emmanuel Mori, President of the FSM, expressed the gratitude of the FSM Government to PIPSO for the initiative, and for choosing FSM as host of the First Northern Pacific Public-Private Sector Dialogue. He stressed that "economic development, in Small Island Developing Countries such as the FSM, is only possible through a strong and equal Public Private Sector Dialogue and Partnership; which has the potential of building an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding between public and private sectors, promoting transparency, and facilitating public scrutiny."

President Mori also highlighted some of the ongoing efforts undertaken by the FSM Government on enhancing Public-Private Sector Dialogue. These include active involvement of the Private Sector in Meetings of the State and National Leadership Conference, the National Economic Symposium, the support to the establishment and operations of the FSM Association of Chamber of Commerce; and most importantly, the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC), which brings together State and Non State Actors from all the four FSM States. He expressed his wish that Public-Private Sector Dialogue be institutionalized so as to become permanent, for the benefit of governments, private businesses, and local communities.

President Mori concluded by drawing participants' attention to some of the key challenges associated with Public-Private Sector Dialogue. These include the need to ensure that Public-Private Sector Dialogue does not give influence to a particular group of stakeholders, and reinforce links between politicians and special interest groups to the detriment of Small Businesses and local communities, and the need to avoid unfocused discussions.

Over the two-day dialogue sessions, representatives from the Government of the three Freely Associated States (FAS) shared information in relation to their current policies and practices in the areas of power utilities, telecommunication, air transport and shipping and trade. The Private Sector representatives of the three Countries, who met on November 29 to identify issues of common concern and possible areas of partnership with their respective governments, share those with Ministers and Officials. Following frank and extensive discussions, both sides agreed among others to the importance of pursuing the dialogue through existing framework at the state and national level (State Trade Facilitation Committees, National Trade Facilitation Committee, State and National Leadership Conference), as well as subregional level (Micronesian Shipping Commission, Micronesian Trade Committee, and Micronesian Presidents' Summit). The two Parties also agreed to engage and partner in the following key priority areas: policy development and implementation, capacity building and human resources development, data system and standards development, and support to local producers. Finally, the Public and the Private Sectors' representatives agreed to maintain a permanent channel of communication, and enhance private sector representation in the decision making process.

Attending the First Northern Pacific Public Private Sector Dialogue, were the Honorable Jackson R. Ngiraingas, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Industries and Commerce of the Republic of Palau, the Honorable Marion Henry, Secretary for the FSM Department of Resources and Development, the Honorable Francis Itimai, Secretary for the FSM Department of Transportation, Communication and Transportation, Chairman Peter M. Christian, of the FSM Congress, and Government Officials of FSM, Palau and RMI. Representatives from the National Private Sector Organizations of the three FAS also attended the Dialogue. The Meeting also benefited from the technical assistance of Mr. Cameron Bowles, Regional Director of the Pacific Leadership Program.

For more information, please contact the Department of Resources and Development at telephone number (691) 320-5133.

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