FSM Information Services
ADB Office for the FSM, Palau, & Marshall Islands Opens in Pohnpei State; President Panuelo & Vice President Palik Receive ADB Pacific Director General Leah Gutierrez
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On March 20th, 2023, His Excellency David W. Panuelo—President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—and the Honorable Aren B. Palik, Vice President of the FSM, received the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Director General for the Pacific, Leah Gutierrez, in a courtesy call. Following the meeting, President Panuelo sojourned to the ADB office located at the One World Plaza complex in Kolonia, Pohnpei State, for the ribbon cutting ceremony. The ADB office physically located in Pohnpei serves the FSM, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
At present, the ongoing portfolio of ADB development support includes $25.3 million dollars ($25,300,000). The ADB provides support to the FSM through strategic investments in energy, water, transportation, education, and technical assistance.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the ADB provided generous grant assistance of $26.5 million dollars ($26,500,000) in areas such as the Nation’s first social protection programs, and mitigating impacts in the health and tourism sectors, among others.
“ADB is an important development partner,” President Panuelo said in his statement at the opening of the ADB office, “ADB understands that, as a Small Island Developing State, our country experiences heightened barriers to inclusive economic growth, due to our geographic remoteness, small population, capacity constraints, and exposure to natural hazards, of which the latter is intensifying due to the growing pressures of Climate Change…. The ADB’s understanding of our uniqueness, and our vulnerabilities, has promoted a strong partnership with our country.”
During the courtesy call between President Panuelo, Vice President Palik, and Director General Gutierrez, the discussions focused primarily on ADB’s historical and ongoing assistance to the FSM. The Director General described that eight members of ADB’s Board will convene a meeting in Chuuk State in the last week of March, 2023, and described to President Panuelo and Vice President Palik how ADB can also assist in private sector development presuming that that would be of interest to the FSM.
President Panuelo and Vice President Palik thanked Director General Gutierrez for ADB’s friendship and support to the FSM, noting that while they cannot foretell the next administration’s policies that it has been a policy of the Panuelo-Palik administration to focus exclusively on receiving grants, not loans, from any and all friends, allies, and development partners and for any purpose.
Citizens may recall President Panuelo describing the forthcoming opening of the ADB Pacific Country Office in the State of the Nation address this past January, 2023, which—in addition to the forthcoming World Bank office, and the forthcoming expansion of the United Nations Multi-Country Office for the Micronesian subregion—is a part of the FSM becoming a North Pacific hub.
The FSM appreciates ADB’s friendship and development support to our Nation, which has deeply positive impacts on the FSM’s citizens and communities.