Commerce touts progress on 5-year economic strategy report

Public input sought on ‘ranking’ of economic projects

Department of Commerce Secretary Mark Rabauliman said yesterday that they are in the process of reviewing and approving a “ranking matrix” for economic projects in the CNMI based on their overall importance as part of a five-year economic development plan currently at work on.

The information has been made public on the, or via a link through Commerce’s website at, and comes part of the Commerce’s work on the 2016-2021 “Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy,” or CEDS.

The CEDS is comprised of an advisory board referred to as the CEDS Commission, which is comprised of private sector leaders, as well as public officials, and is tasked with providing input and advice as to the document’s development.

The CED website is intended to provide information to the public on the working documents as well as allows for direct input and feedback into the document from stakeholders.

“At this stage, we are in the process of reviewing and approving a ranking matrix, which is intended to provide an objective way for the commission and the department to rank the various projects in terms of overall importance to our economic development in the next five years. The public is welcome to view the ranking matrix and provide their input as to the various elements used…While the input of the commission is critical to a well-rounded CEDS, more important is the input from our general public,” Rabauliman said in a statement.

The Commerce department says they continue to make progress on the report’s development, which is funded through a federal grant from the Economic Development Administration. The report is intended to provide a strategic outlook for the CNMI moving forward in the next five years, and is intended to outline infrastructure projects essential to the continued development of the CNMI.

“The 2016-2021 CEDS report is a bit more challenging because many of the government agencies which are considering the dynamics of the large scaled and fast paced developments in relations to our infrastructure needs. Our partner agencies understand the value of economic development, and are ramping up their efforts to meet such infrastructure needs in line with the requirements of the CEDS,” said Rabauliman.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at

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