Commerce, consultant to begin working on CEDS


Consultants hired by the CNMI Department of Commerce will begin their work for the five-year strategic plan of the Commonwealth this week.

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Plan is conducted every five years through a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

“The 2009-2014 CEDS has expired so EDA granted the CNMI through the Office of the Governor that grant to again do the next five years strategic plan to the CNMI,” Commerce Secretary Mark Rabauliman said.

Commerce said among the main goals for CEDS is to look into what projects are critical to the CNMI and address the current projects that need to be emphasized in the plan.

“The CEDS is to plan out the next five years’ economic development strategy plan for the CNMI. It’s a partnership between both public and private stakeholders,” Rabauliman said.

Rabauliman said the consultants will be on island this week to begin information gathering.

Also included in the first phases of creating the plan is to do fact-finding and public and stakeholders meetings.

“The next two weeks of March, the contractor will be on island to gather information so they’re going to speak to not only government entities, private sectors,” Rabauliman said.

“Through those meetings, hopefully it will paint a clear picture of what are the priorities,” Rabauliman said.

Rabauliman said they are looking at four to five months to get all those things including public meetings as well as the actual preparation of the report to be finished.

“The outcome from this study or report helps all the other agencies as they apply for federal grants within their departments. They’ll be able to use that as a resource,” Rabauliman said.

EDA’s grant to the CNMI government is $100,000, and the local Commerce Department has contracted Washington Pacific Economic Development Group based in Guam to do the report.

The last CEDS report done in 2009 identified and listed projects in ranking order according to their ability to spur economic development, which included CUC Public Private Partnership, Inter-Island Super Ferry, Pinantang Park, Alternative Energy-CNMI Wide, and MHA Public Housing Redevelopment on Saipan.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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