Pandanus Juice Promoted in New Zealand.
PRESS RELEASE: DIVISION OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT DELIVERS THIRD TRADE CAPACITY BUILDING TRAINING: “DATA ANALYSIS TRAINING: PART I-FOR EFFECTIVE POLICY MAKING IN RMI”
The third Trade Capacity Building Training was conducted by the Division of Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Resources and Development on 18th Sept, 2015. The Training was conducted by the National Trade Adviser, funded under the Hub and Spokes II EU Funded programme , Miss Radika Kumar.
The training aimed at educating the participants about accessing credible data from relevant databases to aid in decision making in trade, investment, health, energy, climate change and private sector development and other areas. The training further aims to assist the participants by enabling them to prepare effective papers on relevant policy decisions which will be of low cost but have high impact for RMI.
Participants from OCI, Trade, Tobolar, Customs, Agriculture, Energy and the National Training Center attended the training.
The Division of Trade and Investment will be conducting Part II of the Datan Analysis training towards the end of September 2015. For further information on these trainings please contact the Division of Trade and Investment on 625-3206. The Training is opened to all stakeholders at no charge.
PRESS RELEASE: DIVISION OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT DELIVERSSECOND TRADE CAPACITY BUILDING TRAINING: “TRADE IN SERVICES AND THE NEXUS TO THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SECTOR”
The second Trade Capacity Building Training was conducted by the Division of Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Resources and Development on 5th June, 2015. The Training was conducted by the National Trade Adviser, funded under the Hub and Spokes II EU Funded programme , Miss Radika Kumar.
The Training aimed at educating the participants on the Trade in Services Sector and the general underlying principles of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) . It also highlighted a the practicality of Trade being conducted under the four different modes of supply. Examples were also used in the case of Marshall Islands on how effective and meaningful Services Liberalization could be conducted.
The Training had further invited open discussions on the Telecommunications Sector Liberalization and the effective measures that the Republic of Marshall Islands has to have in place before liberalisation. These includes having an independent regulator, transparency and accountability, interconnection, universal service obligations and services to be provided to the outer islands. The essence of Telecommunications liberalization and the number of foreign investors to enter the small market of RMI should be carefully determined. Without doubt, with proper measures in place, liberalization of telecommunication sector would benefit the outer islands in terms of accessibility and also the private sector and consumers with lower costs.
The training also shared different country experiences with the participants on how countries had undergone telecommunication liberalisation. Most economies have opened up certain sub-sectors of the telecommunications that value add for example mobile cellular service and internet secvices. Others have opted to have joint venture and partnership options.The economic impacts of efficient telecommunications and its impact on other sectors of the economy such as financial and tourism had also been discussed.
Another important aspect that was discussed with the participants was the terms and conditions for foreign firms to enter the selective telecommunications sector and the leasing of the infrastructure including obligations on zoning and universal services which are paramount to the telecommunication sector liberalization.
The Division of Trade and Investment will be announcing its next training session in the coming months. For further information on these trainings please contact the Division of Trade and Investment on 625-3206. The Training is opened to all stakeholders at no charge.
Press Release: The Ministry of R&D Collaborates with the ROC/Technical Mission and Farmers Association on the Farmers Market
The Ministry of Resources and Development had collaborated with ROC Technical Mission and Farmers Association on the initiative to market locally made produce to the public. According to the Secretary for Ministry of R&D, the first farmers market was hosted at the Ministry of R&D car park area. The aim is to encourage people to buy local produce and to also connect the producers to the market. This initiative goes in tandem with ensuring food security for Marshallese people, combating non-communicable disease in RMI by promoting healthy food and diet and also promoting the “Be Marshallese and Buy Marshallese” campaign that the Ministry has embarked on to promote locally made goods.
The next farmers market will be at the College on the Marshall Islands the end of this month (April) and the public will be informed. The public is invited to participate in this initiative. This will now be a monthly event throughout the year.
Caption: First Initiative of the Farmers Market at the Ministry of Resources and Development Car Park.
PACER Plus, Agreement of Hope for RMI
The Ministry of Resources and Development, in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Trade Adviser, organised a four-day seminar on the PACER Plus negotiations in Majuro from 10-13 March 2015. The objective of the seminar was to enhance the knowledge of relevant stakeholders, including Members of Parliament, government officials working for different Ministries and Government Departments, representatives of the private sector and civil society organisations about the PACER Plus negotiations and discuss how the resulting agreement can facilitate economic growth and development of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI).
In his opening remarks, the Chief Trade Adviser of the Pacific Island Countries, Dr. Edwini Kessie, noted that the PACER Plus negotiations commenced in August 2009 and are intended to strengthen the capacity of RMI and other Pacific Island Countries (PICs) to participate more effectively in international trade. The negotiations cover a broad range of subjects, including trade in services, investment, regional labour mobility and development assistance.
Dr. Kessie noted that as small island states without significant natural resources, PACER Plus offered a unique opportunity for small island states including the RMI to link their economies to those of Australia and New Zealand and attract much needed foreign direct investment into important sectors of their economies to generate economic growth and sustainable development. He further noted that Australia and New Zealand were conscious of the challenges faced by RMI and other PICs in the multilateral trading system and have committed to providing assistance not only to help the PICs to understand and implement their obligations under the Agreement, but also to assist them to address the supply side constraints that have compromised their efforts to take advantage of trade agreements.
Dr Kessie encouraged RMI and other PICs to see PACER Plus as an opportunity rather than a threat to their economies. He noted that apart from tariff concessions that may be made by PICs, there will be no discernible costs for them. On balance, the PICs are expected to gain more from the trade agreement. In that regard, he pointed out the benefits the PICs will get from agreements on regional labour mobility and development assistance. He added that the PACER Plus Agreement would be a catalyst for RMI and other PICs to adopt appropriate trade and economic policies which would generate economic growth and assist the country to lessen its dependence on Official Development Assistance. He noted that should the PICs increase their current share in world trade from 0.05 per cent to 0.5 per cent, this would generate over USD 50 billion in additional income which would assist the countries to improve their trade-related infrastructure and enhance their competitiveness in the global economy.
Dr Kessie commended the staff of the Ministry of Resource and Development for participating actively in the negotiations and advocating tirelessly the interests of RMI and other Compact States in the PACER Plus negotiations.
According to the Chief of Trade and Investment, Mrs Iva Reimers-Roberto, she concerted with the views of Dr. Kessie and further added that positive reforms in RMI is vital. It is time to broaden our trade links and look for better market opportunities. For RMI, the US Compact Agreement though has been in existence for many years, the private sector failed to capitalize on this. PACER Plus is different from other trade agreements in that it focuses on implementation assistance through the Development Cooperation Chapter thus focusing on what our private sector has always been demanding, assistance in development.
It is time that RMI Government focuses more on trade and economic growth as the conduit for the economy and thus moving reliance from aid. The PACER Plus provides such mechanisms for the economy to develop and also will cushion the effects of the depletion of the US compact fund in 2023. We have to be practical and work towards ensuring that the RMI economy thrives.
The Ministry of Resources and Development have been actively engaging the private sector through the National Trade Facilitation Committee, endorsed by the Government, the chair of the committee is the private sector itself and we have been briefing the private sector regarding PACER Plus from the very beginning. Let’s work together to raise the standard of living for all Marshallese and at the same time put our mark in the world.
Caption: PACER Plus Consultation with Stakeholders
Announcement on PACER Plus Consultations 10-13 March, 2015
The Division of Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Resources and Development in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA) will be holding consultations on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations. The dates of the consultations are as follows:
1. Tuesday 10 March, Nitijela from 2.30pm-4.30pm
2. Wednesday, 11 March, National Stakeholders (Private Sector, NGO’s and Government Agencies) from 9am-5.00pm.
3. Thursday, 12 March, Special Session with Private Sector from 9am-12noon.
4. Friday, 13 March, Workshop on Rules of Origin and the Product Specific Rules of Origin from 9am to 12 noon.
DIVISION OF TRADE HOLDS INHOUSE TRAINING ON TRADE POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR RMI
The Division of Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Resources and Development convened its first in house training for 2015 on 27 February, 2015. The training was aimed at teaching the participants about the Trade Policy Framework, it coordination, its synergy to the National Strategic Plan 2015-2017 and also the roles of the agencies in speareheading programmes to implement this framework. The training was delivered by the National Trade Adviser for RMI, funded by the EU Hub and Spokes II programme. The Division of Trade and Investment is currently working with other agencies as well as developing policies that aims to implement the overall trade policy framework of RMI. This year the Government of Marshall Islands had endorsed the National Export Strategy and the Be Marshallese and Buy Marshallese program which the Division is working on in tandem with assisting and coordinating with other agencies on other related areas of the Trade Policy Framework.
The In house training is opened to all stakeholders including the private sector, public sector and the NGO's. For further information on the training, please contact, the Division of Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Resources and Development.
Pacific Periscope: February 17, 2015 Edition
Last year, The Auckland office of Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I) hosted an intern each from two Pacific Island countries which included a Trade Official from the RMI.
To read the full story click Here.
The National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) met for a special session on the sensitization and capacity building of Stakeholders on the Treaty Establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community (MTEC)
The NTFC is a multistakeholder forum chaired by Mr. Kramer from the Chamber of Commerce. The presentation had been delivered by the representative from the Interim Secretariat of the MTEC, Mr. Jean Bertrand Azampo, who is also the Trade Adviser for FSM. The Treaty Establishing the MTEC w has been signed by the Presidents of RMI, FSM and Palau in September 2014. The MTEC is the first sub-regional grouping in the North Pacific that aims to enhance trade and economic integration in the region. The presentation provided information to the stakeholders on the current progress of the MTEC as well as discuss way forward on its implementation. In her opening statement, Mrs. Iva Reimer-Roberto, acting secretary of the MTEC highlighted the importance of this sub-regional grouping and called upon all stakeholders, the Government, private sector and NGO's to work together to enhance deeper trade and economic integration through the MTEC.
There was support from stakeholders on the implementation of the treaty and the need for involvement of the private sector to be crucial at each stage of the implementation process.
Press release: Micronesian Trade and Economic Community (MTEC) Workshop
The Interim Secretariat of the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community (MTEC) is organizing with the technical and financial support of the Hub & Spokes II Programme a Sensitization and capacity building Workshop on the Treaty establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community on February 12 & 13, 2015, at the Public Service Commission Conference Room in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The objective of this Workshop is to educate and build the capacity of stakeholders on sub-regional trade and economic cooperation in the northern pacific, focusing on the treaty establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community (MTEC) signed on September 3, 2014 by the Presidents of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau, with a view to facilitate ratification by the Parliament of the Treaty and its future implementation by relevant stakeholders.
This is a multistakeholder consultation whereby, participants to the workshop are expected to come from the broader spectrum of the society, including: Members of Parliament, Government Officials, Private Sector Representatives, Academia and Members of the Civil Society Organizations, and Youth Groups, as well as Development Partners and agencies/organizations undertaking and implementing initiatives at the sub-regional level.
After the RMI, the MTEC Interim Secretariat, which is based in Palikir, Pohnpei, will conduct similar workshops in the FSM, and in Palau, the two other founding Members of the MTEC.
The vision and long-term goals of the MTEC are to endeavor towards the creation of a trade and economic “community” of shared prosperity to support the achievement of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development of the Member States and improve the standard and quality of life of their People.
For more information, please contact Mr. Adelman Joseph, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade, MTEC Interim Secretariat (FSM Department of Resources and Development), at telephone number (691) 320-5133, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms. Iva Reimers-Roberto, Chief Trade and Investment, Ministry of Resources and Development, RMI, at telephone number (692) 625-3206/4020 email email@example.com .
The Government of India Funds the First Ever National Export Strategy for the Republic of Marshall Islands
The Ministry of Resources and Development through the Division of Trade secured technical assistance from the ESCAP Asia Pacific and the Government of India has pledged US$100,570 to co-finance the project called “First National Export Strategy (NES) for the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Enhancing Capacity on Trade and Investment Policy for Inclusive and Sustainable Development.”
In 2012, the Republic of Marshall Islands launched its Trade Policy Framework (TPF) which is a multi-stakeholder document and is endorsed by Cabinet. The TPF outlines a number of initiatives that the Government of the Marshall Islands must undertake in order to boost trade in the country. The TPF is also embedded in the National Strategic Plan (2015-2017). One of the core areas within the ambit of the TPF is the NES.
By identifying products and services that should be targeted and prioritized for export development and promotion, the NES is a vital component of the TPF that will enable RMI to analyze the gaps, strengths and opportunities in relation to exports and imports of products and services. The NES will further develop strategies for sector specific products and also propose strategies to develop export potential throughout the RMI economy. The policy will include that of product diversification, market diversification, value addition and support to the industry stakeholders, among others. The cross sector strategy will address finance, marketing, branding, quality management, including product certification and food safety (organic and inorganic). The NES will also have implementation plans outlining the responsibilities of the government and private sector in the implementation.
The Division of Trade will spearhead the project once the funds are transmitted to RMI from the Government of India
For more information, please contact the Division of Trade at the Ministry of Resources and Development.
Note: India Ambassador Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa, who recently presented her credentials to President Loeak, officially announced India’s contribution to this project last week. January 2015.
January - December 2014
Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) welcomes new intern Hatty Kabua of Marshall Islands
PT&I Auckland welcomed Hatty Kabua of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) on a three week attachment with the office.
To get the full story in the Pacific Periscope, please click HERE.
Division of Trade & Investment Newsletter
To download latest newsletter, please click HERE.
National Trade Facilitation Committee Meeting
The Ministry of Resources and Development had convened its third National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) meeting on Friday, 14th of November 2014. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Jerry Kramer. The purpose of the meeting was to update and seek the views of the stakeholders on the strategic positions of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (C-EPA).
The meeting was informed of the current state of negotiations for the PACER Plus meeting and the position for RMI in each of the current areas of Labour Mobility, Development Cooperation, Trade in Services, Trade in Goods and the Investment chapter. The stakeholders were also briefed on the C-EPA negotiations in which fisheries and development cooperation chapter are key areas of interest for RMI that is currently being negotiated as a region with the European Union.
In addition to this the members were also informed of the upcoming workshops for next year including the PACER Plus consultative meeting which the division of trade will be advising on later. The meeting has also identified a number of areas where it believes further work is required in order to facilitate trade in RMI.The chair of the NTFC will be writing through the Minister for Resources and Development to cabinet on the recommendations from the NTFC on the proposed areas.
PUBLIC Announcement Kwajalein Trade Fair
This is to inform the general public that the 11th Annual Kwajalein Trade Fair will be held on November 10, 2014 on Kwajalein. The Ministry of Resources and Development once again welcomes anyone who is interested in selling local products such as handicrafts, local produce and all other local wear to take part in this year’s Fair.
To be eligible to participate in this year’s Fair, you are required to register before Friday, October 31, 2014. Please bring with you a copy of your I.D. or passport, social security number and a list of the products you intend to sell on Kwajalein. Place of registration is with the Division of Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Resources and Development. Thank you and for further information please call 625-3206/4020.
Consultations on PACER Plus Rules of Origin
The Division of Trade at the Ministry of Resources and Development had convened a meeting on 17th September 2014 to undertake preliminary consultations on the Product Specific Rules of Origin (PSR) in relation to the PACER Plus Agreement. Stakeholders from the relevant private sector and line ministries including Customs were in attendance. The National Trade Adviser based at the Ministry of Resources and Development highlighted to them the importance of the Rules of Origin in the context of the PACER Plus Agreement and invited the stakeholders to identify products of export interest (current and future) from RMI into the PACER Plus parties should an agreement be concluded.
The PACER Plus is an agreement between the 14 Forum Island Countries and Australia and New Zealand.
First Meeting of Be Marshallese and Buy Marshallese
The Division of Trade at the Ministry of Resources and Development convened the first meeting of the “ Be Marshallese and Buy Marshallese” policy on 16th September, 2014 at the Ministry of Resources and Development. The purpose of the meeting was to inform the relevant stakeholders about the program and garner the support as well as the views of the stakeholders. The concept of the “Be Marshallese and Buy Marshallese” policy aims to showcase the uniqueness of Marshall Islands both domestically and internationally.
At the International front, the Be Marshallese and Buy Marshallese Policy aims to show to the international community the identity and association of RMI by way of what it has to offer and the acceptance of foreigners into the culture of Marshallese Islands through the products and services available. At the domestic front, the program aims to encourage a sense of pride to the locals by association of the concept by eating, wearing, drinking and showcasing Marshall Islands.
The core objectives of the policy include:
1) Promoting Marshallese made goods & services domestically and internationally;
2) Increasing sales of locally produced goods and services;
3) Improving the productive capacity of the local producers with the view to assist in entering the export markets;
4) Reducing import dependency;
5) Encouraging local production that will create niche markets for RMI products;
6) Providing support combatting Non Communicable Diseases and
7) Enhancing overall economic and social well-being of the RMI.
The meeting was attended by representatives from WUTMI, WE, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, Outer Island Development and the Ministry of Resources and Development. For further information on the policy please contact Ms. Iva Reimers Roberto (Chief Trade and Investment) or Ms. Radika Kumar (National Trade Adviser) at the Ministry of Resources and Development.
EU-DG MARE Visit to the Republic of Marshall Islands
Ministry of Resources and Development provides 5th Trade Capacity Building Training
The Division of Trade and Investment has conducted its 5th In-House Trade Capacity Building training on 10 September 2014. The training was a continuation from the 4th Capacity Building Training of Trade in Services. The training aimed to enable participants to specialize in the area of Trade in Services and Economic Development for the Republic of Marshall Islands.
The Training was conducted by the National Trade Adviser funded under the Hubs and Spokes II programme, under the Commonwealth Secretariat, based at the Ministry of Resources and Development. The participants of the meeting included representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Resources and Development and Customs.
The Division of trade and investment will continue to provide trainings related to trade throughout the year. Those interested to participate in the next upcoming training may contact the Division of Trade and Investment on 625-3206 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The training is open to the Government, Private Sector and Non-Government Organizations.
The Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau sign a landmark establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community (MTEC)
Apia, Samoa (MTC Interim Secretary: September 3, 2014).
On September 3, 2014, the Presidents Emmanuel Mori of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Christopher Loeak of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Tommy Remensgau Jr. of the Republic of Palau, officially formalized their historical trade and economic bonds by signing the Treaty establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community. The signing took place in the margins of the 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States, during a consultative breakfast Meeting between Pacific Islands Countries’ Leaders and Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.
The vision and goals of the Treaty are to “…endeavor towards the creation of a Micronesian Trade and economic community through the promotion of sub-regional trade and economic cooperation and integration to support the achievement of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development of its Member States and improve the standard and quality of life of their People, thus contributing to the progress and development of Asia and the Pacific Region.”
In their statements following the signing, the three Presidents emphasized the historical importance of the signing event. H.E. Emanuel Mori, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, underscored the significance of the Treaty and characterized it as a “true reflection of the Micronesian spirit of collaboration which characterized the relations between the three entities.” He indicated that the Treaty provides the appropriate institutional framework through which small producers of the three countries could network and meet the demands of the domestic and international markets, in particular for agriculture, aquaculture, and tourism products. Furthermore, President Mori noted that there were provisions in the Treaty allowing the sisters Republics of Kiribati, Nauru, and the Territories of Guam and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands to join at a later stage.
H.E. Christopher Loeak, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands noted that “the signing occasion marked a significant milestone for the three Nations in their efforts to fully integrate trade and economic initiatives.” President Loeak also stressed that “the Micronesian Trade and Economic cooperation and integration initiative constituted a building block towards greater integration of the three Countries in the Pacific, Asia and the global economy as envisaged in the New Framework for Pacific Regionalism.”
Taking the example of the copra industry which collapsed in Palau 20 years ago, H.E. Tommy Remensgau Jr. stressed that through sub-regional trade and economic cooperation and integration pursued under the treaty, it would be possible for productive sector to consolidate the volume of the products available; and thus increase the raw material available to support the development of small industries.
The Presidents of the three Countries commended the partnership between the MTC Interim Secretariat and technical agencies (the Commonwealth Secretariat-EU funded Hub & Spokes Programme II, ESCAP, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat), which led to the development of the Treaty; and invited Development Partners present, among which Australia and the United States of America, to lend their support to the successful implementation of the Treaty. The Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Ms. Cristelle Pratt, commended the FSM, RMI, and Palau for their sub-regional integration efforts, and re-affirmed PIFS’ unwavering support for the implementation phase of the Treaty.
The signing of the Treaty establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community was attended by the Prime Minister of Samoa and President of the 3rd International Conference on SIDS, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, as well as Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Cook Island, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.
For more information on the signing of the treaty establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community, please contact the Interim Secretariat (FSM Department of Resources and Development), at telephone number (691) 320-5133.
The newly established Micronesian Trade and Economic Community (MTEC) “provides a framework for implementing and monitoring at the sub-regional level the actions indentified in the Outcomes of the Apia Declaration,” says the Hon. Marion Henry, Secretary of the FSM Department of Resources and Development, and Interim Secretariat of the new organization.
Apia, Samoa (MTC Interim Secretary: September 3, 2014).
On the occasion of the historic signing of the Treaty establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community by the Presidents Emmanuel Mori of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Christopher Loeak of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Tommy Remensgau Jr. of the Republic of Palau, on September 3, 2014, the Hon. Marion Henry, Secretary of the FSM Department of Resources and Development, and Interim Secretariat of the new organization, indicated that the newly established MTEC provides an “…institutional framework as the appropriate channel through which programs and actions related to sustainable economic development, such as the ones identified in the Outcome Document of this 3rd International Conference for SIDS, would be best delivered, implemented and monitored within our Sub-region.” In effect, the Hon. Marion Henry, was referring to the following actions identified in the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (Samoa Pathway) which have direct linkage with the vision, goals and objectives of the MTEC: (1) enhancing the enabling environment at the national and regional levels to attract more public and private investment in building and maintaining appropriate infrastructure, including ports, roads, transportation, electricity and power generation and information and communications technology infrastructure; (2) fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, building capacity and increasing the competitiveness and social entrepreneurship of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as encouraging inclusive and sustainable industrial development; (3) supporting national, regional and international initiatives that develop and increase the capacity and development impact of the financial services industry in small island developing States; (4) encouraging entrepreneurs to start up environmentally sound businesses through adequate and appropriate incentives; and promoting and fostering an environment conducive to increased public and private sector investment. It is worth noting that the Work Program 2015-2019, which was adopted by the Ministers last July 16, 2014 in preparation for the signing of the Treaty, contains similar actions to be implemented in the FSM, RMI, and Palau. “This is not a simple coincidence that there are similitudes between our Work Program 2015-2019 and the actions identified in the Samoa Pathway; but rather, a clear indication that the three entities have a clear idea of what needs to be done in order to advance the economic and social conditions of our people, and ultimately achieve sustainable economic development. We are glad that it is being recognized and articulated in the Samoa Pathway,” says the Honorable Marion Henry.
The vision and goals pursued by the FSM, RMI, and Palau through the Treaty are to “…endeavor towards the creation an economic “community” through the promotion of sub-regional trade and economic cooperation and integration to support the achievement of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development of its Member States and improve the standard and quality of life of their People, thus contributing to the progress and development of Asia and the Pacific Region.”
For more information on the treaty establishing the Micronesian Trade and Economic Community, please contact the Interim Secretariat (FSM Department of Resources and Development) at telephone number (691) 320-5133.
IN- HOUSE TRADE CAPACITY BUILDING ON TRADE
The 4th In-House Trade Capacity Building was organized by the Division of Trade and Investment on Friday 29 August, 2014 at the Ministry of Resources and Development. The training was on specialised Trade in Services Agreement. The participants were provided a brief on the importance of trade in services liberalisation to economic development. The training also taught the participants on the General Agreement on Trade in Services and its relevance to the services sector in the Republic of Marshall Islands. The aim of this trade capacity building training is to ensure long term sustainability of the Republic of Marshall Islands in trade and trade related capacity.
Participants in the training included officials from the Ministry of Health, the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Marshall Islands Visitors Authority.
The training was delivered by Ms. Radika Kumar, the National Trade Adviser, funded by the EU and the Commonwealth Secretariat under the Hub and Spokes II program.
For further information on the next training please contact Mrs. Iva Reimer-Roberto, the Chief Trade and Investment on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MINISTRY OF RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT MEETS RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY (JICA)
The Ministry of Resources and Development Staff met with Mr. Hideki Tomobe, the resident representative of JICA in the Republic of Marshall Islands. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss with Mr. Tomobe on the technical assistance available from JICA that the Ministry could benefit from.
Mr. Hideki informed the meeting that JICA is providing volunteers is specialised field of interest. Currently it has provided Japanese volunteers in elementary schools, environment and health. Under their technical cooperation and grant aid assistance JICA also provides for assistance in training and providing equipments.
The Chief Agriculture, Mr. Henry Capelle informed JICA of the needs relating to RMI agriculture and requested for possible assistance from JICA. The Chief Trade and Investment, Ms. Iva Reimers also highlighted the work of the division and requested for volunteers in the area of product certification.
MINISTRY OF RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT MEETS FARMERS ASSOCIATION
The Ministry of Resources and Development Staff met with the Farmers Association at Laura on Saturday 23rd August, 2014. The purpose of the meeting with the Laura farmers was to discuss the new plan of activities for the MRD and ROC Technical Mission for 2015. The Farmers Association is also included in the plan for technical assistance by the mission.
During the meeting the USDA FSA also announced the new Microloan program through USDA FSA to farmers in RMI. The FSA microloan program aims to better serve the unique financial operating needs of beginning and smaller family farm operations like specialty crop producers and operators and non-traditional farm operations, often faced with limited financing options.
Background on US FSA- Microloan
FSA’s Direct Farm Operating loans are a valuable resource to establish, maintain and strengthen your farm or ranch. Under its direct loan program, FSA loan officers are responsible for every aspect of the loan application process, and funding is provided through Congressional appropriation
Microloans are direct farm operating loans with a shortened application process and reduced paperwork designed to meet the needs of smaller, non-traditional, and niche type operations. Apprentice and mentorship programs, non-farm business experience, and farm labor experience are acceptable alternative solutions for helping to meet farm experience and managerial requirements.
Operating loans may be used to purchase items such as
Livestock and feed
Minor improvements or repairs to building
Refinance certain farm-related debts, excluding real estate
Operating loan funds cannot be used to finance nonfarm enterprises, including earthworms, exotic birds, tropical fish, dogs or horses used for non-farm purposes (racing, pleasure, show and boarding).
There is no minimum loan amount. The maximum loan amount for a Microloan is $35,000.The maximum loan amount for a Direct Farm Operating Loan is $300,000. There is no down payment requirement.
Trade and Investment Meets Women Organization
The Division of Trade and Investment, under the Ministry of Resources and Development had convened a meeting with the relevant women in business organizations namely Women Entrepreneurs (WE),Robert Reimers Enterprise (RRE), Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI) and Elefa Handicrafts on Monday 23 June 2014.The meeting discussed the possible training opportunities for the respective women organizations. The women were provided with a list different training opportunities by the Division of Trade and Investment to these women. The training will be conducted in India sponsored by the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC).
The trainings range from Entrepreneurship & Small Business Promotion, Informal Sector Development and Capacity Building for providing alternative livelihood opportunities for Women.
The meeting further discussed collaborative opportunities between the private sector and the Division of Trade and Investment in promoting Marshallese Made products. The women organizations have also been informed of the in-house training offered by the Division of Trade and Investment in collaboration with the National Trade Adviser, funded under the Hub and Spoke II programme under the Commonwealth Secretariat. The meeting had been informed that further specific trainings for women on trade could be conducted upon request.
The Division of Trade and Investment will be working closely with these organizations in enhancing trade in the Republic of Marshall Islands.
Ministry of Resources and Development provides Trade Capacity Building Training
The Division of Trade and Investment has conducted its 2nd In-House Trade Capacity Building training on Monday 23 June, 2014. The training has been conducted in collaboration with the National Trade Adviser funded under the Hubs and Spokes II programme, under the Commonwealth Secretariat, based at the Ministry of Resources and Development.
The training aimed at educating the stakeholders on the relevant trade rules and its application to regional trade agreements. The division of trade and investment will continue to provide such trainings throughout the year. Those interested to participate in the next upcoming training may contact the Division of Trade and Investment on
The training is open to the Government, Private Sector and Non-Government Organizations at large.
The Seventh PACER Plus Intersessional Meeting
The 7th Intersessional Meeting on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus was held in Adelaide, Australia from the 8-12th June.
The PACER Plus negotiations which is negotiated between Australia and New Zealand and the Forum Island Countries is currently considering legal texts which will form part of the broader PACER Plus agreements.
The texts under consideration include chapters on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade in Goods, Investment Chapter, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Development Cooperation and Labour mobility among others.
The PACER Plus agreement if concluded successfully is deemed to accrue future long term benefits for the Republic of Marshall Islands in terms of providing an alternative market and creating nexus in trade with the South Pacific. Securing meaningful development cooperation deal with Australia and New Zealand will be useful in developing infrastructure and assisting the private sector. In addition a successful labour mobility agreement will provide access to the Marshallese citizens to work in Australia and New Zealand as well as other developed Pacific Island countries such as Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
The 7th intersessional meeting was attended by Ms. Laban Konolios (Head of Delegation), Trade Promotions Officer from the Ministry of Resources and Development, Mr. Daniel Timothy from RMI Customs and Ms Radika Kumar, National Trade Adviser based at the Ministry of Resources and Development, under the Hub and Spoke II Programme from the Commonwealth Secretariat.
IACT Delivers Food Safety and HACCP Certification Training in RMI
A workshop on Food Safety Program and HACCP certification training geared towards improving the standards and quality of Marshallese Made products is currently ongoing in the Republic of Marshall Islands and will end on the 8th of August 2014.
The training is delivered by Mrs. Apiame Cegumalua, Export Processing Officer, and Ms Temalesi Waqa, Trade Facilitation Assistant from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The training is funded by the European Union under the Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) program of the Land Resources Division at SPC The IACT program in principle aims to strengthen the export capacity of the Pacific member countries in the primary industries.
The beneficiaries from this IACT training include the private sector and officials from the Tobolar Copra Processing Authority, the major producers of coconut oil in the Republic of Marshall Islands. In the week long training, the participants are expected to develop a Food Safety Plan aimed at meeting international standards for their processing practices and products.
Mrs. Cegumalua and team will also be working with Tobolar in setting up their factory processes and the required HACCP plans for coconut oil aimed at exports for the Australian and other export markets. Tobolar is a state owned enterprise under the Minister of Resources and Development portfolio. Also in attendance at the workshop were officials from the Division of Trade and Investment of the Ministry of Resources and Development including the Chief Trade and Investment, Ms. Iva Reimers Roberto, Trade Promotions Officer, Ms Laban Konelios and Ms Radika Kumar, National Trade Adviser, funded by the EU and Commonwealth Secretariat under the Hub and Spokes II program.
Press Release: National Trade Facilitation Committee Meeting
The Ministry of Resources and Development in the Republic of the Marshall Islands had convened its 2nd National Trade Facilitation Committee Meeting on 15th of July, 2014. The National Trade Facilitation Committee comprises of stakeholders from the Government, Private Sector and the NGO’s.
The meeting discussed a number of trade related issues affecting the Republic of Marshall Islands. Professor Scollay from the University of Auckland had also presented to the Committee on the feasibility study on the possibility of establishing a Pacific Island Countries and United States Development Oriented Trade and Investment Arrangement. Views from the Private Sector have been noted. Professor Scollay is the lead consultant undertaking the study and will be in RMI to undertake consultations with individual stakeholders.
The Division of Trade and Investment of the Ministry had also briefed the stakeholders on the current trade negotiations that RMI is part of. These include the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) with Australia and New Zealand and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union and the other PACP members.
The NTFC is the core decision making body for the RMI which was endorsed by cabinet and is part of the overall National Trade Policy Framework implementation policy for the RMI.