Wednesday, February 13, 2013

TAIYO MICRONESIA CORPORATION DECLARED ONE MILLION DOLLARS DIVIDEND-Dawning of success for Tuna Commercial Fisheries Development in the FSM

FSMIS (February 13, 2013): On February 8, 2013, the President of Taiyo Micronesia Corporation (TMC), Mr. Toshio Abe, made a courtesy call on President Manny Mori in Palikir.  Joining President Mori at the meeting was the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Lorin Robert.
After just one year since his first meeting with President Mori, Mr. Abe returned and shared with the President the good news that during the seven months of operation of the Taiyo Micronesia Corporation (TMC), a joint venture between Taiyo A&F Co., Ltd. Japan and the FSM National Fisheries Corporation, the TMC Board of Directors declared a $1million dividend to be divided among its share holders.
One of the conditions of the joint venture arrangement is that the TMC will underwrite a feasibility study for a possible shore-side processing plant for Katsuobushi (dried bonito) in the FSM. Another competitive and more profitable component of the joint venture is for TMC to introduce modern and best equipped fishing vessel into FSM.  Arrangements for this component are being discussed with local fishing authorities.
Accompanying President Abe were H.E. Eichii Suzuki, Japan’s Ambassador to the FSM, Mr. Peter Sitan, President/CEO of NFC and other staff members of the Japan Embassy and the corporation.  
President Mori welcomed and congratulated Mr. Abe for the good news and encouraged Taiyo to expand its operation in the FSM. He assured Mr. Abe that the FSM Government will continue to support the TMC business activities in FSM. Noting job opportunities and the intension of shore-side investments, President Mori expressed the need for TCM to bring to shore its by-catch to be processed as animal feeds for pigs, chicken and possibly mangrove grabs.  President Mori urged the local partner to speed up the process of establishing a new fishing corporation that will better serve as a fishing joint venture partner with foreign investors such as Taiyo of Japan. 
NFC CEO, Mr. Peter Sitan stated that a significant step had taken place in promoting a model of cooperative arrangement between Japan and the FSM. He called the quick TMC success a “demonstration of strong positive result” facilitated through cooperation between industry and government policy makers and a core of dedicated employees. He further commented on the industry’s need for government support and how TMC showcased success when government-industry collaboration is in place.
The TMC experience is in line with President Mori’s policy of encouraging foreign investment, which is spearheaded by the Department of Resources and Development in collaboration with relevant departments, offices, agencies and state counterparts.
The President’s focus on attracting foreign investment in the tuna fisheries sector is complemented by sub-regional initiatives, which has enalbed TMC to fish in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of the eight PNA (Parties to the Nauru Agreement) member countries under one fishing permit. This support allows preferential treatment to certain vessels hosted by PNA member countries which meet established eligibility criteria.
According to Mr. Sitan, this is the first time a dividend has been declared for a fishing company in FSM within his 30-plus years experience in fishing operation in the country.
For more information, contact the NFC Office at 320-2529.

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