The Strategic Development Plan (SDP) called for FSM to adopt trade and tax policies to enhance the competitiveness of producers. In 2005, the Economic Policy and Implementation Council (EPIC) passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) to formulate a Trade Policy for the nation. This was further reiterated by the
Chief Executive Council (CEC) in June 2006.
Accordingly in October 2006, the Department of Resources and Development (R&D) convened a National Trade Policy Consultative Meeting, where all the stakeholders from the National Government, the states, private sector and non-state actors (NSA) were invited.
The NTFC convened its meeting in June 2008 to consider the final technical draft of the Trade Policy.
The ultimate objective of the Trade Policy is to promote export-led sustainable economic growth and self reliance, with the ultimate objective of creating employment, alleviating hardship and raising the living standards of FSM citizens. The Trade Policy provides clear recommendations on what needs to be done in order to promote private sector development and export-led economic growth.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Vice President, who is the Chairman of the NTFC, the Commonwealth Secretariat (Hub and Spoke Project) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) for providing technical and financial assistance, the States, NSA, the National Government and the members of the NTFC who have participated actively in the formulation of the Trade Policy. I would also like to thank the many citizens of the FSM who participated in the Trade Policy formulation and the private sector for their valuable input in the process. Lastly, my gratitude goes to the Department of R&D, which was primarily responsible for managing this consultation process and developing this Trade Policy.
I am confident that the Trade Policy will help in putting the necessary measures in place to address supply-side constraints and help our nation to produce goods and services that can be traded competitively on the international market and help us to achieve our shared goals of economic growth, employment creation, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development.