|Vice President Alik, left, and President Mori|
FSMIS (April 8, 2014): Planning for upcoming events, Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori and Vice President Alik L. Alik held a joint meeting involving the Department of Resources and Development (R&D) and the Office of Statistics, Budget and Economic Management, Overseas Development Assistance, and Compact Management (SBOC) on April 8 at the President's Conference Room.
The Department of R&D is the Secretariat for the FSM State and National Leadership Conference (SNLC) while the Office of SBOC serves as the Secretariat for the 2023 Planning Committee, which is chaired by the President.
Led by the President, the group tackled at the brainstorming stage preparatory discussions in stringing together the main issues to be addressed at the next convening of the SNLC.
Tentatively, the SNLC is scheduled to fit into the first week of the 4th Regular Session of the Eighteenth FSM Congress during the second week of May, 2014.
Some of the main concerns viewed at the meeting included the need to address the expected budgetary shortfall for all FSM governments in 2024 after funding from the United States under the amended Compact is terminated; the difficulties in gaining concrete federation-wide commitments in progressing needed tax reform legislations; insufficient progress in improving the foreign investment climate; formulation of a framework for the proposed Set Aside Fund (Investment Development Fund) to help with the state of FSM-wide economy; etc.
This process involves the solicitation of inputs from the State Governments to be able to provide an agenda that reflects and integrates priorities from all parties for consideration of the SNLC. The SNLC Secretariat was asked to expedite communications to the State Governments regarding this process.
At the latter part of the meeting, the President reviewed proposed timeline of activities to be taken up by the 2023 Planning Committee, namely the four Governors, the President and key Secretariat staff in the next couple of weeks.
The upcoming outreach meetings throughout the Nation will focus mainly on concrete economic activities that the Private Sector would prefer to concentrate on within the priority areas of agriculture, fisheries, tourism and renewable energy.
President Mori said the Government "must not dictate to the Private Sector" what investment or projects should be pursued.
The President agreed to moving ahead on the proposed itinerary put forth by the Secretariat, with outreach meetings to start in Chuuk, Yap, Kosrae and conclude in Pohnpei before the convening of the SNLC in May.