The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is the tenth country to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility (the Facility).
With ten countries already signed up, the Facility can now enter into force, providing Pacific Island nations greater ownership of their trade-related development needs.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Ms Cristelle Pratt, thanked the Government of FSM for its commitment to the MoU to establish the Facility. “I congratulate FSM for signing the MoU enabling a historic development of trade and development in the region.”
“The Facility allows for a regional approach that will promote better coordination, more efficient and more effective Aid for Trade programmes in the Pacific and is expected to play a vital role in assisting development partners in coordinating their Aid for Trade resources for the Pacific region.”
The Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility, an independent and autonomous body provides the Pacific Island nations a platform to work with development partners to identify trade-related development needs and ensure that available ‘Aid for Trade’ resources are targeted appropriately.
While signing the MoU on behalf of the Government of FSM, H.E Mr. Gerson Alik Jackson, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of FSM to the Republic of Fiji, highlighted the importance of Aid for Trade to a small island economy such as FSM. “This MoU is a positive step for FSM in boosting our economy, especially in anticipation of possible cessation of financial assistance under the compact of Free Association Treaty between the FSM and USA in 2023, and in support for the Pacific Islands in channeling of adequate aid, and mobilisation and coordination of resources necessary to implement regional trade agreements.
Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu had already signed the MoU. Today, FSM became the tenth Pacific Island country to sign the MoU.
The Deputy Secretary General called upon development partners to channel Aid for Trade resources through this Facility, which will in turn provide trade-related assistance to Pacific Island states in a timely and efficient manner.
“With the MoU entering into force, the Secretariat will be actively exploring options to operationalise the Facility,” Deputy Secretary General Pratt said. (Ends)
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The concept of a Trade and Development Facility originated in 2006, in the context of negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Pacific ACP States and the European Union (EU). Pacific ACP members consider that, if well designed, structured and implemented, such a Facility could have a number of advantages as an institutional mechanism to address their Aid for Trade requirements. The rationale for the creation of the Facility being to improve the delivery of aid to Pacific island countries in support of the Aid for Trade agenda.
The MoU provides for the establishment of a Council as the Facility’s main policy and decision making organ and sets up the parameters for the eventual establishment, structure and operation of the Facility.
The Facility also ensures Aid for Trade assistance is delivered in a transparent and effective manner. The types of activities and programmes that will be implemented through the Facility will be those that have been identified by Pacific Island Countries as their Aid for Trade priority needs. Regional projects as well as joint national projects with a regional impact will be considered for funding from the Facility.