Regional News

FSM official lauds signing of Micronesian trade treaty

APIA, Samoa (FSM Information Services) — On the occasion of the historic signing of the treaty establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community or MTEC,

Marion Henry, secretary of the FSM Department of Resources and Development, and interim secretariat of the new organization, indicated that the newly established MTEC provides an “institutional framework as the appropriate channel through which programs and actions related to sustainable economic development, such as the ones identified in the Outcome Document of this 3rd International Conference for SIDS, would be best delivered, implemented and monitored within our sub-region.

In effect Henry was referring to the following actions identified in the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (Samoa Pathway) which have direct linkage with the vision, goals and objectives of the MTEC: (1) enhancing the enabling environment at the national and regional levels to attract more public and private investment in building and maintaining appropriate infrastructure, including ports, roads, transportation, electricity and power generation and information and communications technology infrastructure; (2) fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, building capacity and increasing the competitiveness and social entrepreneurship of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as encouraging inclusive and sustainable industrial development; (3) supporting national, regional and international initiatives that develop and increase the capacity and development impact of the financial services industry in small island developing States; (4) encouraging entrepreneurs to start up environmentally sound businesses through adequate and appropriate incentives; and promoting and fostering an environment conducive to increased public and private sector investment.

Marion Henry

The Work Program 2015-2019, which was adopted by the Ministers on July 16, 2014 in preparation for the signing of the Treaty, contains similar actions to be implemented in the FSM, the Marshall Islands and Palau.

“This is not a simple coincidence that there are similitudes between our Work Program 2015-2019 and the actions identified in the Samoa Pathway; but rather, a clear indication that the three entities have a clear idea of what needs to be done in order to advance the economic and social conditions of our people, and ultimately achieve sustainable economic development. We are glad that it is being recognized and articulated in the Samoa Pathway,” Henry said.

The vision and goals pursued by the FSM, the Marshalls and Palau through the Treaty are to “endeavor toward the creation an economic ‘community’ through the promotion of sub-regional trade and economic cooperation and integration to support the achievement of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development of its Member States and improve the standard and quality of life of their People, thus contributing to the progress and development of Asia and the Pacific Region.”

The treaty was signed by Presidents Manny Mori of the FSM, Christopher Loeak of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Tommy Remengesau Jr. of the Republic of Palau on September 3 in Apai, Samoa at the margins of the 3rd International Conference for Small Islands Developing States.