Pohnpei Export Association - Looking for Information from Local Exporters

NOV 2016 - The Pohnpei Export Association or PEA was established in September 2014, with the goal to facilitate the export of agricultural and marine products from Pohnpei to importers located in regional destinations. Now, through the kind support and generosity of FSM Senator Ferny Perman, PEA has opened an office and recruited a Program Manager to further the work towards this goal. While exporting products made in Pohnpei helps to boost the state’s economy, the logistics of sending perishable items off island is complicated, involving: 1) identifying potential overseas buyers, 2) securing the necessary permits and licenses, 3) careful scheduling of shipments so items arrive at their destinations fresh and in good condition, and 4) dealing with the financial arrangements needed to cover freight costs and receipt of payments. PEA recognizes that most people who are involved in agricultural production and the harvest of marine products may lack the expertise to effectively deal with these export-related issues.
Late last year, PEA organized the shipment of a container from Pohnpei to Guam. In Guam PEA organized assistance to transship items to other destinations, including the US mainland. A number of exporters took advantage of this reduced-cost option to send their products. While the container did successfully arrive in Guam, some unanticipated delays resulted in some of the perishable items arriving in less than ideal condition. The effort did prove that such an arrangement is possible, but that extremely careful planning is essential.

One of the lessons learned in organizing the container is that the current volume of agricultural and marine product exports may be insufficient to fill such a large space. Given the volume of sakau and betel nut that is presently being exported, at some point in the near future it may be feasible to fill a container and take advantage of reduced per pound freight costs. In the meantime however, PEA is discussing air-freight options with the airlines that service the island. Air shipments provide much greater scheduling flexibility.
An initial objective of the PEA Program Manager is to collect information that will assist current and potential new exporters on Pohnpei to successfully navigate through all of the export “steps”. To this end, PEA is in the process of creating a data base to provide information on current and potential local exporters and also information on current and new overseas markets/buyers. To negotiate with the airlines, we must know the potential volumes of exported items.
The Program Manager is developing a survey tool to gather information on all local exporters and individuals who may be interested in exporting their products. The survey will be primarily conducted at the airport, but in order to collect data from as many people as possible, all interested parties, who have not been surveyed at the airport, are requested to contact the PEA Program Manager at the following number: 925-7777