On November 13 and 14, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand, the FSM took part in the Second Preparatory Consultation for the Ministerial Conference on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific, on November 13 and 14, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Second Preparatory Consultation for the Ministerial Conference on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific was attended by 32 countries and a dozen of regional and subregional organizations, and was chaired by H.E. Kazi Imtiaz Hossain, Ambassador of Bangladesh.
Four main thematic areas were discussed during the Meeting: formation of an integrated market in Asia and the Pacific, development of seamless connectivity across the region, including transport, energy and ICT through the full realization of key regional initiatives, enhancing financial cooperation, inter alia, for closing infrastructure gaps across countries in the region and exploring the possibility of providing liquidity support, and increasing economic and technical cooperation to address shared vulnerabilities and risks.
FSM’s main contribution to the general discussion on the preliminary draft text of declaration was at two levels: firstly, as the Interim Secretariat for the Micronesian Trade Committee (MTC), the FSM Delegation shared information and the experience of the subregional trade and economic cooperation initiative in the North Pacific Region, between the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia. This initiative represents a stepping stone towards greater participation in regional cooperation and integration initiatives as envisaged in the Pacific Plan and will also contribute towards the formation of an economic community of Asia and the Pacific as envisaged in the preliminary draft text of the declaration. The MTC was established in 2008 through a Memorandum of Understanding, and aimed at enhancing trade and economic cooperation among the three Countries, removing impediments to trade, enhancing investments and promoting a concerted approach in trade and economic negotiations. Following the 12th Micronesian Presidents’ Summit of July 2012, the Leaders of the three Countries agreed to upgrade the MoU establishing the Micronesian Trade Committee into a Treaty. FSM’s second main contribution was in respect to the critical importance of trade facilitation in particular for countries with special needs (Small Island Developing Countries, Least Developed Countries and Land Locked Countries), which very often lack adequate institutions and trade infrastructure to support the productive sector.
The preliminary draft text of declaration and its annex will be further discussed by senior officials and experts prior to adoption and signing during the Ministerial meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for December 17-20, 2013.
As one of the Small Island Developing Countries in Asia and the Pacific Region, the FSM sees gradual trade and economic cooperation and integration as a sound strategy to increase resilience of vulnerable economies, tackle common risks, challenges and vulnerability to natural disasters.
Representing the FSM at the Consultation, were Mr. Carson Mongkeya, Deputy Assistant Secretary, FSM Department of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Jean Bertrand Azapmo, National Trade Policy Adviser, FSM Department of Resources and Development.
For any additional information regarding the above, please contact FSM Department of Foreign Affairs at telephone number: 320-2613/2641 or FSM Department of Resources and Development at telephone number: 320-5133.