Representatives from the United States of America and the Republic of Palau convened in Koror, Palau, June 21-22 for bilateral economic consultations as called for under the Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of Palau Following the Compact of Free Association Section 432 Review, signed by the United States and Palau in 2010.
U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor and U.S. Department of State Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs Whitney Baird led the U.S. delegation. The President of Palau, H.E. Surangel Whipps Jr., led the Palau delegation with the Minister of Finance, Kaleb Udui, Jr., and other cabinet officials. The bilateral economic consultations included briefings and a review of recommendations from the Palau Economic Advisory Group regarding the country’s economic, financial, and management reforms. The bilateral consultations are one of the requirements under the Agreement to review Palau’s progress in achieving reforms, consistent with the 2010 Compact Review Agreement, as amended. This was the first bilateral economic consultation between the two countries since the first annual report of the Palau Economic Advisory Group was released in April of this year.
In addition to consultations on matters as required in the 2010 CRA, as amended, during these meetings Palau expressed an interest in joining the Blue Dot Network for infrastructure certification. Palau is the site of one of the Blue Dot Network’s pilot projects, a sub-sea internet cable to securely connect and expand the country’s telecommunications to the rest of the world. The Compact-mandated Palau Economic Advisory Group was launched in 2022, with funding provided through the U.S. Department of the Interior. Additional information about the Palau Economic Advisory Group, its annual report, and other related documents can be found at the Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives website.