Pohnpei, FSM- The President of the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E Emanuel Mori has welcomed the peer review of FSM and urged the peer review team to be frank but also fair and accurate in its assessment of the country’s processes and systems. The FSM Peer Review Team consists of Mr Catolina Kijiner from the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Ms Noumea Simi representing the Government of Samoa, Mr Johnson Naviti of the Vanuatu Government and Mr Asif Chida from the UNDP Pacific Centre in Fiji.
The FSM peer review continues the series of peer reviews across the Pacific as part of the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination (Forum Compact) to review FIC’s national development planning, budgeting, public financial and aid management processes and systems. FSM is the 9th Forum Island Country to undertake this process.
FSM has also specifically requested that in recognition of the pressing challenges facing the country, the Peer Review Team should also consider the suitability of the existing policy environment for promoting private sector development.
In a meeting with the peer review team on 14 November in Palikir, Pohnpei, President Mori urged the peer review team to take into consideration the special circumstances of FSM having a loose federation with three layers of government operating in the four semi autonomous states and a national government.
With funding under the Compact of Free Association with the United States expected to end in 2023 the Government of FSM is now discussing policies that will enable the country to fill the gap that will be left in its budget.
H.E Mori explained that some of the measures his Government has been pursuing include encouraging more investment in the FSM Trust Fund, increasing revenue including introducing tax reforms, scaling back on government expenditure and developing the private sector.
“There is a need to enable investment in the FSM both domestic and foreign direct investment,” President Mori said.
“The Government needs to provide what the private sector needs to develop. Our development partners must align their assistance to FSM to fit in with these policies we are embarking on.”
“There a lot of opportunities available to us. We just need to work out our internal arrangements. The development partners are behind us. We the people of FSM need to decide whether to continue to have the easy life of eating from the shops or we develop ourselves,” said Mr Mori. The Government is establishing a 2023 Taskforce to provide recommendations to policy makers on how to address the expected fiscal challenges in the next 10 years and beyond.
The Peer Review Team, which is in the FSM from 12 – 28 November 2012, will hold consultations with representatives of government departments, non-government organizations, the private sector and the development partners. The Team will also consult with the states of Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae and Yap.
At the end of the consultations, the Team will produce a report that will include recommendations for the FSM Government and its development partners. The report will only be released after it has been endorsed by the Government of FSM.
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