Thursday, July 23, 2015

Eugene Pangelinan as new Executive Director of NORMA

Mr. Eugene Pangelinan is the new head of the Federated States of Micronesia’s National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) after his predecessor, Mr. Patrick Mackenzie, resigned from the Executive Director post to pursue other interests.  Mr. Eugene Pangelinan brings to the executive directorship 26 years of NORMA experience and dedication.

As Execuitve Director, Mr. Pangelinan will take over responsibilities for the management of NORMA, the regulatory authority established to oversee the ocean resources within the FSM’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), including regulation of the deep sea fisheries activities and conservation measures within the FSM’s EEZ.  The Executive Director works under the direction and guidance of a five -member board appointed by the president and confirmed by congress.

President Peter Christian expressed his appreciation of Mr. Pangelinan’s decision to accept the leadership helm of NORMA.  “It was a difficult decision to make,” asid President Christian of Mr. Pangelinan, who was declared a candidate for the Pohnpei State Gubernatorial Election and had actually begun his campaign.  “There may be good people out there who could become good at the business of running our most imporatant national asset, but there can’t be any missteps or lost-time in diligent management of NORMA.  Mr Pangelinan is here. He knows the business, and I am glad he made the decision in favor of the Nation’s interest, and we thank him for that. We also thank his supporters.” 

Friday, July 17, 2015

United Flight Attendants take action in Guam

July 17, 2015,  – It was announced that about 300 flight attendants for United Airlines rallied up in a common fight for contract fairness. The flight attendants and fellow supporting employees launched an informational demonstration in front of the AB Won Pat International Airport in Guam yesterday at 5pm, to protest the terms of their contracts.

This course of action demonstrated that United Airlines, a leader in the airline industry, has consistently delayed negotiations of a fair contract with its flight attendants.  Reportedly, the Spokesperson for CNMI Association of Flight Attendants, Cynthia Iverson announced that there is still room for progress and agreement terms for wages, working conditions and benefits.  Flight Attendants represent the front line first responders to a wide range of in-flight incidences, ranging from infant deliveries, to life threatening emergencies, and everything in between.  They are a professionally trained workforce seeking contract terms and benefits equal to their expected levels of performance.  Since the merging of United Airlines and Continental Airlines five years ago, the Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants has yet to come to a contract agreement.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

FSM weightlifter wins gold at Pacific Games

By Jim Tobin
Monday, July 06
Port Moresby, PNG
A few hours ago, on Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Manuel Minginfel, famous Olympic weightlifter from Yap competed in his fifth Pacific Games (formally known as the South Pacific Games).  At age 37, he is the oldest athlete competing in Weightlifting at the games.
Minginfel completed in the 69kg division with 11 other lifters from Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, PNG, Kiribati, Guam, Tuvalu and Nauru. This is the first Pacific Games that Australia and New Zealand have participated in.
Amazingly, Minginfel won 2 gold medals in the Snatch and Overall Weight, and a silver medal in the Clean & Jerk.  His Snatch lift was 120kg, Clean & Jerk was 156kg and total weight was 276kg.
Minginfel has been training the past few months in New Caledonia at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute, trained by world famous coach Paul Coffa.  After Minginfel won gold today, Coffa stated – “the old man did it – he beat the young guns again”.  Minginfel was not a favourite to win the gold medals.  His FSM coach Ronald Etscheit stated before the competition started this morning – “TEAM FSM and I just hope that Manuel will win a medal. We are all very proud of him”.
Manuel's first appearance at a Pacific Games was at the Mini Games in Pago Pago in 1997.   Since that time, he has competed in every single Pacific Games and Mini Games, winning a total of 21 gold medals and 6 silver medals.  The FSM National Olympic Committee is working with the Pacific Games Council to confirm if Minginfel now holds the record for winning the most gold medals by an athlete in the history of the Pacific Games.
Minginfel was awarded a Rio 2016 Olympic Games athlete training scholarship in January 2015 and will continue to try to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games.

2015 Pacific Games events began on Friday, July 03 and will continue until July 18.  More releases with updates on Soccer, Tennis, Swimming, Track and Field and Boxing will be forwarded. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Team FSM: Pacific Games Openning Ceremony

By Jim Tobin
Sunday, July 05
Port Moresby, PNG 
After years of preparation by Papua New Guinea and thousands of Pacific regional athletes, the 15th Pacific Games opening ceremony was held Saturday night, July 4, in the nation's capital, Port Moresby.
TEAM FSM, from the Federated States of Micronesia, was one of 23 Pacific island countries and territories that marched at the opening ceremony.  The flag bearer for TEAM FSM was famous Olympic weightlifter Manuel Minginfel, from Yap.  TEAM FSM is composed of 42 athletes, coaches and manager competing in Weightlifting, Boxing, Swimming, Track and Field, Tennis and Soccer (Football).
Artistic director of the opening ceremony, Airleke Ingram, said the opening ceremony was a celebration of Papua New Guinea's rich cultural history, while pointing to the country's future direction. The sing-sing performances were part of a cast of 3,000 performers and almost 300 ceremony staff.
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, Great Britain welcomed all 23 Pacific region island countries and territories.  "I wish everyone 2 successful weeks of sport. Good luck to all the competitors. Congratulations Port Moresby," he said.
On Monday, July 6, Minginfel, the FSM best hope of winning a medal, will compete in the men’s 69kg Weightlifting category.  Manuel's first appearance at a Pacific Games was at the Mini Games in Pago Pago in 1997.   Since that time, he has competed in every single Pacific Games and Mini Games, winning a total of 19 gold medals and 5 silver medals.
2015 Pacific Games events began on Friday, July 03 and will continue until July 18.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pacific Partnership visits Pohnpei

Kicking off its second visit of Pacific Partnership earlier last week, on June 25th, Federated States of Micronesia Vice President Yosiwo George visited three public schools in Kitti and Madolenihmw where the partnership mission is currently conducting assistance and support.

Reflecting the longstanding relations between the United States and the FSM, the Pacific-Partnership mission that begun earlier last week, have been providing medical, dental, veterinarian care and infrastructure development projects at school grounds where military personnel and volunteers are repairing and renovating school facilities.

In addition to the joint effort in humanitarian assistance, a team of medical, dental, engineering and veterinary personnel and NGO volunteers are working collectively together with local
professionals in support of the mission’s objectives. The USNS Millinocket vessel that deployed from Pearl Harbor late May, has been scheduled for a two-week mission visit in Pohnpei, which arrived in the host nation on June 21.

Along with US Ambassador Doria Rosen, Vice President George thanked the engineering personnel at Lukop Elementary School and Rohi Elementary School and the team of medical professionals at Madolenihmw High School for providing treatment and medical aid. The Vice President expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the involvement and humanitarian outreach being provided to the FSM. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Upcoming Event: Rock Hopper Race in Kosrae

The streets in Kosrae is expected to be clear of motorists as participants gather for the upcoming 3rd annual Rock Hopper race that takes place on Monday, October 12, 2015.  The event that first took off in 2013 is recognized for its stunning tropical landscape, unique for divers and travelers to enjoy in a new way.

Taking off annually, the Rock Hopper race is becoming one of Kosrae’s most popular events. With the race only months away, the route will begin in front of the Pacific Tree Lodge Resort at 7am which course travels through a local village, going past landmarks. Apart from the beautiful scenery, take advantage of Kosrae’s surrounding nature with a 5.7 mile run which includes an on-road and off-road terrain.

On the course, water stations will be available along the way and signs for course direction. There will be a pre-race local style banquet and post race refreshments, among other amenities at the finish. Registration is now open as participants from all levels are welcome to sign up.

Registration: Click here

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

President Christian receives Esther P. Kia’aina, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas

FSM President Peter Christian with Assistant Secretary Esther Kia'aina of the Department of Interior and US Ambassador Doria Rosen
In a courtesy call held in the morning of Tuesday June 9th, His Excellency Peter M. Christian, President of the FSM, received Assistant Secretary Esther Kia’aina of the Department of Interior on the occasion of her first official visit to the Federated Stated of Micronesia since her appointment to the post of Assistant Secretary.

The occasion provided an opportunity to affirm personal and professional acquaintances, and also for exchanges and discussions on important issues and common interests; specifically, as it relates to the role of the Department of Interior in Compact management and implementation.

President Christian confirmed that Assistant Secretary Kia’aina’s visit to the FSM was very timely given the renewed interest of the country to accelerate progress towards strengthened and effective infrastructure development. The President expressed his concern on how much time and effort has been devoted to process, with little movement in obtaining tangible results.  As was the general and mutual understanding among negotiators of the Amended Compact, he went further to describe that flexibility and periodic review was, and still is, the key to successful implementation of the goals and objectives of the Compact.  For the FSM, the goals and objectives have always been economic improvement, and growth through infrastructure project development; creating an environment conducive to employment opportunities, active private sector participation, and improved public service delivery to FSM citizens.  For the US, it was for continued military and security defense rights over the region.

Last, but not the least, the President acknowledged and recognized possible FSM contributions to the reduced pace of implementation.  Towards this end, the President affirmed the need for both parties to work together and to move forward in the collective and collaborative spirit of a good-faith partnership that has always been the foundation of the FSM – U.S. relationship.  The President affirmed his commitment towards this effort.

In response, the Assistant Secretary conveyed sentiments of appreciation for the welcome to the FSM, and described the introductory nature of her visit. Among others, she highlighted some initiatives in current contemplation and implementation by her office that are aimed towards providing better services to citizens of the FSM living in the United States.  She made specific reference to medical health services, a “one stop shop” service for FSM citizens arriving in the U.S., and a concerted effort to revitalize U.S. Government Inter-Agency cooperation in recognizing, and assisting citizens of the Freely Associated States (FAS).  Assistant Secretary Kia’aina confirmed her interest to work together, and displayed a proactive desire to work towards this end.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pacific Islands Forum: Corporate Lawyer

Pacific Islands Forum Update
11 June 2015
Corporate Lawyer

About the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat:

The Pacific Islands Forum was founded in August 1971 and currently comprises 16 independent and self-governing states in the Pacific. Forum Leaders meet annually to develop collective responses to regional issues.

The Forum’s administrative arm is the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, based in Suva, Fiji. It acts as the Secretariat for Forum-related events, implements decisions by the Leaders, facilitates the delivery of development assistance to member states, and undertakes the political and legal mandates of Forum meetings. The Forum Secretariat is also mandated to coordinate the implementation of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.
About this Opportunity:
An exciting opportunity exists for a Corporate Lawyer. Reporting to the Director Corporate Services, the position exists to provide comprehensive in-house legal services for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
Responsibilities will include (but not limited to):
  • Being the principal legal counsel to Management;
  • Providing legal services to Staff in the implementation of Programme activities;
  • Reviewing and maintaining the Secretariat’s legal templates;
  • Overseeing the Secretariat’s purchasing, procurement and grants; and
  • Developing the Legal Services Component.
We are looking for candidates with a Graduate degree in law with admission as a legal practitioner in a Forum Member State. Candidates must have substantial relevant experience working as in-house legal counsel with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, have strong analytical and problem solving skills and must have the ability to organise, coordinate andprioritise conflicting demands. Candidates with a Post Graduate degree in law with experience working on administrative issues within an international organisation or a regional intergovernmental organisation would have an advantage over other candidates.
About the Benefits:

The appointment will carry a competitive remuneration and benefits package including medical and life insurance. The starting salary will be in the range of SDR34,537 to SDR 38,854 per annum. At the 1 May 2015 exchange rate this salary range was equivalent to FJD97,950 to FJD110,193. For non-Fijian nationals, this salary may be tax-free. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply here where an information package containing the job description and remuneration details is also available.
To be eligible for this position, the applicant must be a national of a Forum member country.* Deadline for applications is at5pm (Fiji time), 10 July 2015.
*Member States of the Pacific Islands Forum: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is an equal opportunity employer and encourages both men and women to apply.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The 2015 FSM Investment Guide completed and ready to be launched

(Palikir, FSM Department of Resources and Development)
After one year of national and state consultations, the Division of Trade and Investment has recently completed the publication of the 2015 FSM Investment Guide, a promotion and marketing document that aims at providing useful information on investing in the FSM and guiding any potential local or foreign investor in setting up a business in the FSM. The Investment Guide was designed and printed in Guam and delivered to the FSM Consulate General in Guam on May 27, 2015. In the welcome message, Secretary Marion Henry of the FSM Department of R&D highlighted the distinctive features of the 2015 edition of the FSM Investment Guide, which comes nearly 10 years after the last investment guide was published. In effect, unlike the 2006 edition, the 2015 FSM Investment Guide goes beyond the traditional sections on basic information about the FSM and the business enabling environment by providing updated detailed information on the main investment opportunities in the FSM, including tuna processing; fishing vessels and fishing nets repair and maintenance; tourism development around historic and archaeologic sites; protected areas and water-based sport activities; production of poultry products and drinking water; production of exotic agriculture products and small scale agro-processing; international transportation; and production of renewable energy, to name just a few. In addition, the guide offers a snapshot of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives available to investors, all the relevant information on starting a business in the FSM, with detailed information on the steps and competent agencies, and  a list of useful addresses to make the entire process business friendly than ever.

With the publication of the 2015 FSM Investment Guide, the FSM Department of R&D has now fully implemented one of the key recommendations arising from the Symposium on Investment Facilitation in the FSM held in May 2013 in Palikir, which recommended, among other things, that information on investment opportunities, procedures and steps to investing in the FSM, and relevant agencies involved in the process should be collated and published in an investment guide and be made available on a website. The date, time, and venue of the launching of the long-awaited document are being finalized by the FSM Department of R&D.

“This is the very first professional investment guide that the FSM has produced and it is a reflection of the new pro-active approach that we want to take with respect to promoting investments into the FSM as part of the government overall strategy as the Nation gears up towards 2023; there is more coming up”, says Secretary Henry. Following the launching of the 2015 FSM Investment Guide, the FSM Department of R&D will turn to other key projects and reforms needed to further improving the business enabling environment in the FSM, including the “big elephant in the house.” On top of the list is the drafting of proposed amendments to foreign investment laws and regulations as well as policies to further enhance transparency, harmonize, and streamline the processes (the first round of consultations for this project was conducted last march and April 2015 with the technical assistance of the World Bank-IFC), followed by the establishment of an investment promotion agency at the national level. In parallel to those two major projects, the FSM Department of R&D will continue to build and strengthen the capacity of producers, produce and disseminate a guide to assist producers to export to regional and international markets, and finalize the translation of key sections of the 2015 Investment Guide into the Japanese and Chinese languages.

The publication of the 2015 FSM Investment Guide is a joint effort of the National and State Governments with the support of several stakeholders and development partners. In this regard, Secretary Marion Henry observed that “the collaborative efforts of national and state agencies as well as the private sector was critical and facilitated the realization of this important document, considering that it cuts across all sectors of the FSM society. The FSM Department of R&D could not have accomplished it alone”. Secretary Henry also highlighted the critical role of the technical assistance received from the Commonwealth Secretariat-EU funded Hub & Spokes Programme II through the advisory services of the National Trade Adviser; as well as the valuable inputs provided by other technical agencies and development partners, including the Pacific Trade & Investment network and the US Embassy to the FSM.

For more information, please contact: FSM Investment Unit, Division of Trade and Investment, FSM Department of Resources and Development; telephone (691) 320-2646/5133; fax: (691) 320-5854; e-mail: You can also visit our website for more information.