Monday, May 27, 2013

FSM State and National Leaders endorse investment facilitation recommendations

Dept. of Resources & Development (May 27, 2013): The 6th FSM State and National Leadership Conference (SNLC)  that took place on May 10th endorsed the recommendations arising from the Symposium on investment facilitation in the FSM, which was held on May 06-09, 2013 at the COM-FSM Gymnasium.

States and National Leaders noted with concern the areas of ease of doing business where the FSM needs to exert more efforts to enhance all-around business climate. These areas include the protection of investors, registration of properties, enforcing contracts, and starting a business. State and National Leaders also noted the critical need to support the local private sector with a view to enhance its capacity to produce competitive goods for both domestic and overseas markets, in line with the National Export Strategy adopted in December 2012 by the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC).

 After thorough review, the State and National Leaders adopted a number of recommendations formulated at the Symposium, in particular, the harmonization of substantive issues in foreign investment regimes across the four States; the development of time standards for State Courts based on the FSM Supreme Court model; the establishment of a one window shop for required documentation processes; the creation of an Investment Promotion Agency within the FSM Department of R&D to handle foreign investment; and the streamlining of the approval process of foreign investment in line with the current 7-day policy for registration of corporations.

In addition, the SNLC considered the need for a better protection of the rich and diversified cumulative body of knowledge, know-how, practices and representations developed and maintained by the people of FSM in interacting with the natural environment throughout history. In the same view, local products which correspond to the FSM and its four States as specific geographical locations or origins also need property rights protection.  In this regard, the SNLC adopted a resolution calling for the development of a comprehensive Intellectual Property Right (IPRs) regime in the FSM to safeguard ownership rights over the traditional knowledge, genetic resources and local products originating from entities within the FSM.

The Symposium was part of a number of on-going initiatives towards right-sizing the public sector, nurturing private sector growth and enhancing investment activities for the overall objective of progressing economic development and building financial stability.

Participants to the Symposium enhanced their knowledge and understanding of investment promotion and facilitation through interacting with resource persons and learning from their presentations of experiences and lessons learned in different places. The resources persons who informed the Symposium included Ambassador George Hara, Special Adviser to the Cabinet, Office of the Prime Minister of Japan and Chairman of the Alliance Forum Foundation, Mr. Chris Kanazawa, Hawaii State Director, USDA-Rural Development, Mrs. Dianne Masih-Reddy, Senior Manager of Investment Fiji, West Regional Office, representing the Government of Fiji, Ms. Ikuko Matsumoto, Director, Urban Social Development and Public Management Division at the Asian Development Bank and her delegation, Mr. Jonathan Kirkby, Senior Investment Policy Officer, IFC-World Bank Group, and Mr. Joseph Bradley, Senior Vice-President/ Chief Economist & Business Continuity Officer, Bank of Guam.

 President Manny Mori opened the Symposium and, among other things, reminded the participants of the conditions under which the FSM as a whole must press on in forging an acceptable future amid looming challenges. The Symposium would contribute immensely to the FSM’s future-building endeavor.

 The participants at the Symposium came from State and National Governments with many others representing the private sector and non-government organizations, as well as some officials from the FSM Development Bank and the Bank of the FSM.  Additionally, various members of the resident Diplomatic missions and the international organizations based in the country availed themselves throughout the Syposium.

With the Leaders’ endorsement of the recommendations, an NTFC subcommittee on investment facilitation will be established to monitor and assist with implementation progress. 

For further information, please contact the Trade and Investment Division at the FSM Department of R&D at (691) 320-5133 or

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