Palau to receive $792K in technical assistance grants

To complete 2015 Census, develop 10-year tourism master plan and provide FDIC examiner training

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina approved and released last week $792,437 in funding under the OIA Technical Assistance program for fiscal year 2015. The grants will help the Government of the Republic of Palau complete its 2015 Census of Population, Housing and Agriculture, develop a 10-year Tourism Master Plan, and provide FDIC examiner training for ongoing institutional capacity building in Palau’s banking sector.

“Each of these projects will provide tools critical for leaders and policy makers in Palau,” said Kia’aina.  “We are pleased to support Palau in its national planning, tourism and economic development, and banking security. 

Palau’s 2015 Census, incorporates population, housing and agricultural data, all indicators of the economic development, population trends, self-sufficiency and food security in Palau.  The Census is also expected to provide important information regarding the effectiveness of economic development strategies such as the completion of the Compact Road and relocation of the National Government capitol to Babeldaob Island.

According to a 2012 International Monetary Fund report on Palau, travel receipts in tourism amount to about 50 percent of GDP, more than twice the Pacific Island average and among the highest in the world.  Palau’s Bureau of Tourism seeks to develop a Tourism Master Plan developing high-end tourism, focusing on markets with greatest potential while balancing Palau’s culture, natural resources and ability to absorb further expansion.  The plan will also address the need for a legal and regulatory framework for the tourism industry, infrastructure improvements, and workforce capacity. 

The Palau Financial Institutions Commission ensures liquidity and solvency of banking institutions in Palau and currently monitors seven banking institutions, three of which are insured by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.  The training will enhance the ability of FIC staff to conduct bank examinations and provide subsequent analytical reporting. (OIA)

Press Release
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