Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bank of Guam spearheads finance and business conference in the FSM

Left to Right: Mr. Joe William, Acting-Executive Director, Pohpei Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corp., Mr. Ignacio Stephen, Vice President/COO FSM Development Bank, Mr. Antonio John, Vice President, Bank of FSM, Mr. Aren Palik, President and CEO, Pacific Islands Development Bank, and Mr. Christopher Cruz, Pohnpei Branch Manager, Bank of Guam.
FSMIS (June 12, 2014): President Manny Mori was the keynote speaker at the opening of the 2-day FSM Finance and Business Conference that is being held at the College of Micronesia-FSM National Campus starting this morning.

Spearheaded by the Bank of Guam as the main organizer and sponsor of the event, the conference brings together the financing institutions that impact the FSM economy as well as several business entrepreneurs, some local government agencies, foreign government representatives and programs, and others that play a role in business development and banking.

After a welcoming from the FSM Association of Chambers of Commerce, President Mori addressed the group of bankers, lending institutions, business community, and other relevant government officials, stressing the critical need to enhance collaboration as the FSM seeks to "jump start" a more viable economy.

President Mori touched briefly on his administration's efforts in the area of more targeted partnership with the private sector. For this, he thanked the Bank of Guam for taking the initiative to contribute to the efforts in terms of the conference. The President also pointed to the creation of the 2023 Planning Committee and the proposed Investment Development Fund as strategic efforts, among others, as FSM looks ahead to the termination of Compact sector grants in 2023.

The 2023 Planning Committee Secretariat, through Director Evelyn Adolph and Department of Resources and Development advisor, Mr. Roger Mori, provided further details to the President's remarks. Director Adolph highlighted that the 2023 Committee was tasked to recommend specific ways to address budgetary shortfall projected to occur after Compact sector grants are withdrawn. She said the FSM has got to expedite the strengthening of its economy and maximize potentials through infrastructure development projects that create jobs and revenues in the remaining nine years.

Mr. Roger Mori highlighted the familiar message that FSM must turn around the stifling business climate for both local and foreign investors to thrive more profitably. He also brought up some strides made in the direction of improving confidence in the enforcement of contracts and awareness of the court system to the need for dependable timetable in progressing business related cases.

Mr. Joseph P. Bradley, Senior Vice-President/Chief Economist for Bank of Guam made a presentation on "economic prospects for the FSM", which spurred exchanges of views and discussions from the audience. Mr. Bradley advised that the FSM needed to watch closely other regional events that have impacts on financial situation in the FSM. He reminded his audience of the saying in Guam that "when Tokyo sneezes, Guam gets a cold".

In the form of panel discussions, other topics were discussed by a wide range of authoritative panelists. Topics included: "Specific Bank Requirements for Business Financing"; "What can be done to stimulate Business Financing"; "United States Federal Government Lending Programs"; and "Foreign Government Assistance offered to the FSM".

Two more panel discussions will take place tomorrow before the conference wraps up.

The cadre of panelists for today included:

Mr. Ignacio Stephen, Senior Vice President/COO, FSM
       Development Bank
Mr. Aren Palik, President and CEO, Pacific Islands Development
Mr. Antonio John, Vice President, Bank of the FSM
Mr. Christopher Cruz, Pohnpei Branch Manager, Bank of Guam
Mr. Joe William, Acting-Executive Director, Pohnpei Small 
       Business Guarantee and Finance Corp.  
Mr. Adelman Joseph, Trade Program manager, FSM Department of
Ms. Anna Mendiola, President and CEO, FSM Development Bank
Mr. Kenneth Lujan, Branch Manager U.S. Small Business
       Administration (Guam)
Mrs. Melsihner Hadley, Acting Banking Commissioner, FSM
       Banking Board
Mr. Chris Kanazawa, State Director, Hawaii State Office, U.S. D.A.
Mr. Gary Bloom, Manager, U.S.D.A. Rural Development -- Pohnpei
H.E. Dr. Terry Beven, Ambassador, Australian Embassy
H.E. Masaki Sakai, Ambassador, Japan Embassy

For more information, call 320-2548 or email

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