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FSM Vice President meets with ADB

Office of the President

 

10/25/2018

The Honorable Yosiwo P. George, Vice President of the FSM, met with Dr. Kshatrapati Shivaji, Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Executive Director representing the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Dr. Shivaji sits on the Executive Board of ADB as the Dean by serving the longest tenure among all seven (7) Executive Board members. The purpose of the meeting was to pay a courtesy call to Vice President George and to provide an update to the Government of the FSM on ADB projects, activities, and events in this new fiscal year.

Vice President George thanked ADB, through Dr. Shivaji, for its many years of assistance to the FSM.  Dr. Shivaji also thanked the Vice President and asked that he convey the good news to His Excellency, President Peter M. Christian, that ADB is doubling its country allocation from $6M to $12M annually. Consistent with the tone of strengthening FSM’s relationship with ADB, other important issues discussed included a new ADB Office to be set up in Pohnpei, which is aimed to foster dialogue between ADB and FSM. Also discussed was the new Executive Order designating the Vice President as the NDA tasked to coordinate all projects with multilateral partners, including the flow of information between these entities and the Government. As such, the coordination of all ADB funded projects—including the Improving the Quality of Basic Education (IQBE) project with FSM Department of Education—the Public Service Reform Project, and all other projects in the ADB pipeline will be subjected to the Vice President’s review.

Dr. Shivaji is the highest ADB Official to visit the FSM from during the week of October 22nd-25tth, 2018. Aside from meeting with Vice President George, Dr. Shivaji also advised that he met with the Honorable Marcelo Peterson (Governor of Pohnpei State), His Excellency Robert Riley (US Ambassador to the FSM), His Excellency George Fraser (Australian Ambassador to the FSM), FSM Development Bank, Bank of the FSM, and the Small Business Guarantee Office in Pohnpei.

Dr. Shivaji thanked Vice President George for receiving him and the kind words expressed. He assured Vice President George that he that he will speak with Director-General Carmela Locsin, who heads the Pacific Department (PARD) of ADB, to give priority to FSM’s needs. Vice President George thanked Dr. Shivaji for taking his time to meet with the stakeholders mentioned above. He further requested that ADB conducts measurable assessments on previous projects, such as the Early Retirement Project. While popular with the public and built with only the best intentions, the perception within the FSM National Government is that our country was not ready for such a program to be given the quality it deserves.

The meeting ended on a positive note. Vice President George invited Dr. Shivaji to visit the other FSM States and also to visit Pohnpei more frequently. Dr. Shivaji thanked him and informed him that his next stop will be in Palau.

Joining Vice President George and Dr. Shivaji during this meeting were Mr. Mason Albert, ADB’s Residence Representative and Mr. Herman Semes, Jr., Special Assistant to the President/the Vice President.

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