Press Release - 20th February 2011 - The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade has congratulated the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) for adopting a ground-breaking National Comprehensive Trade Policy.

"This is a major policy undertaking by the people and Government of the FSM and I want to recognize their commitment because it is an area that the Secretariat has been assisting the fourteen Forum Island Countries on and to have the FSM adopt their own Comprehensive Trade Policy marks a new chapter in this effort which we hope will encourage other countries to work earnestly toward completing their own National Comprehensive Trade Policies," says Mr Slade.

He added that beyond this, the FSM can now look forward to benefitting from opportunities presented by clearer and predictable Government actions on trade-related activities.

"The Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has placed a priority on strengthening economic development through trade and the adoption of this new comprehensive national trade policy paves the way for fulfillment of this aspiration," said Mr Slade

The comprehensive trade policy, described by the Government of FSM as a 'historic achievement,' was developed with the assistance of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat through the Commonwealth Secretariat's Hub and Spokes Project.

"Trade policy has the potential to transform lives by supporting increased private sector activity, encouraging trade and investment, and ultimately creating jobs and livelihoods for communities in Pacific island countries," said Mr Slade.

The trade policy was formulated through the National Trade Facilitation Committee, which is comprised of representatives of the national government, the Four States, the private sector and non-state actors. The Committee was chaired by the FSM Vice President, the Honorable Alik Alik.

Mr Slade added: "The Secretariat is pleased to note that the trade policy contains an implementation matrix, which identifies the technical and financial assistance required to help FSM to address its trade and development needs and priorities."

He further added that where necessary this will be supported by Forum initiatives to help countries identify and secure Aid for Trade and promote aid effectiveness.

The Forum Secretariat Secretary General also acknowledged the assistance that has been provided by the Commonwealth Secretariat (through the Hub and Spokes Project), on trade policy formulation and capacity building for Forum Island Countries and looks forward to continue working with partners to provide similar assistance to other countries.