Secretary Lawrence in D.C. for IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings

Secretary Lawrence and Chairman Figir at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings

Washington DC, April 22, 2019- Secretary Lawrence was in D.C. to attend the Spring Meetings for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) held from 8 – 14 April 2019. At the meetings, Secretary Lawrence met with Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President of the World Bank. She also met with World Bank Executive Director Kunil Hwang, who represents the constituency at the World Bank that includes the FSM as a member. Secretary Lawrence later met with Executive Director Nigel Ray, who represents FSM at the IMF Board of Executive Directors.
Throughout the meetings, both the IMF and the World Bank reiterated their support for the on-going programs in the FSM. The World Bank is financing various projects in the FSM in the energy, telecommunications, and fisheries sectors, as well as public financial management improvement for National and all state governments. Various teams of both the World Bank and IMF have visited the FSM to reiterate the two institutions’ support at present and in the days ahead.
Secretary Lawrence expressed appreciations for the assistance provided to the FSM by both the IMF and World Bank and expressed commitment to continue to foster the good working relationship. Secretary was informed that due to the good work by FSM officials and World Bank staff, the Bank has been able to advance the date for Board approval of the $38 million Maritime Project to May 9, 2019.
Secretary also discussed with the Bank about the remaining IDA18 project which will focus on domestic connectivity, to fully improve connectivity resulting from the cable projects. FSM has been able to negotiate additional financing for this project which will now see a World Bank grant of approximately $21.4 million.
Secretary Lawrence later attended the Small States Ministerial Roundtable where discussions focused on “financing climate change adaptation and resilience”, “economic and financial resilience”, and the “blue economy”, which looks at “financing sustainable fisheries and reducing marine pollution”.
Secretary Lawrence was assisted at the meetings by Mr. Eugene Amor, Economic Advisor at the International Monetary Fund - Asia-Pacific Constituency Office, and Mr. Rob Solomon, Finance and Economic Advisor with the FSM National Government. Also included in the meetings as members of the FSM delegation were Chairman Isaac V. Figir, FSM Congress, Ambassador Susaia and Deputy Chief of Mission Jack Soram, from the FSM Embassy in D.C., and Ms. Allison Laffen, Staff Attorney at FSM Congress.