Wednesday, November 12, 2014

FSM Citizens in Guam provide feedback for 2023 Planning Committee

Dededo, Guam (November 1, 2014): The Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori led the 2023 Planning Committee and its Secretariat in a public forum for FSM citizens in Guam, held at the Astumbo Gymnasium in Dededo, Guam on November 1st.

The meeting provided citizens with the opportunity to be updated on progress made on the 2023 action plan mandate in the collective attempt to better position the FSM State and National Governments ahead of the expected termination of annual grants under the Compact of Free Association with the United States. It also afforded the 2023 Planning Committee a platform for citizens to comment on the plan and provide input on specific components.

The panel of presenters included Director Evelyn Adolph from the Office of Statistics, Budget and Economic Management, Overseas Development Assistance and Compact Management (SBOC) and Mr. Rob Solomon, a macro-economist and consultant who is assisting the Committee in formulating and documenting the plan.

After opening the meeting, President Mori took up much of the task of responding to the series of questions and comments made by the attendees with occasional help from Governor Sebastian Anefal, Yap State, Lieutenant Governor Marcelo Peterson, Pohnpei State, and Mrs. Lorie Asher, the Kosrae State attorney general who represented Governor Jackson.

Govern Johnson Elimo of Chuuk State was at the Planning Committee's meeting the day before but was not able to join the forum with citizens.

In general, the citizens expressed agreement to the plan as presented. They also raised some concern on the overall inability to develop a sustainable economy back home. A number of them said they would rather return home, but are unsure if they would find jobs. They also emphasized that the National and State leaders should collaborate on the 2023 Planning Committee's endeavor to prevent drastic effects in the event that Compact sector grants are terminated. More importantly, the citizens concurred that the ultimate goal to pursue the next ten years is to grow the FSM economy by focusing on the needs of the private sector and removing impediments that complicate the business and investment climate. Without a sustainable economy, the health and education sectors would remain too depended on foreign assistance.  

In wrapping up, President Mori thanked the citizens for providing valuable feedback to the committee and invited them to help out in getting all-around support for the endorsement of the plan. 

Similar outreach meetings to update citizens and solicit  feedback  throughout the FSM will follow in the immediate future. 

The Committee anticipates finalizing the drafting of the plan by early December and have it ready for wider State and National leadership endorsement at the early part of 2015. 

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