ADB, Japan Support Safe Port Operations in Federated States of Micronesia

POHNPEI, FSM - Preparatory work has begun for a project that will ultimately improve the efficiency and safety of port operations in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), leading to increased trade and improved access to public services for people living on outer islands and in other states.

A $600,000 grant from the ADB-administered Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) will lay the groundwork for the eventual Pohnpei Port Development Project by conducting a transport sector stakeholder workshop, consultation meetings with FSM national and state governments and representatives of Congress, and due diligence on all aspects of the proposed project.

“The project will address critical concerns for economic growth in FSM. It will improve domestic and regional connectivity to facilitate trade and access to markets, health and education services” said Xianbin Yao, Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department.

“Development of the seaport will support the fisheries sector and delivery of essential commodities such as food items, fuel and building materials to Pohnpei,” said Japanese Ambassador Eiichi Suzuki.

As with other Pacific Island countries, FSM is highly dependent on import and export by sea, and its economy is heavily reliant on the fisheries sector. FSM’s inter-island connectivity for both goods and people is limited. The port’s infrastructure is old, its cargo processing time is low, and a 2010 study found that risk of vessel collision is high.

"To drive inclusive economic growth, FSM’s Infrastructure Development Plan highlights the need for improved port infrastructure. The project will support efforts to ensure port operations meet international standards," said Rose Nakanaga, Acting Secretary, Department of Finance and Administration.

“We appreciate the Government of Japan's support to develop the Pohnpei port. Improving port operations is a high priority, as we are highly dependent on import and export by sea,” Pohnpei Governor John Ehsa said.