Representatives from the United States of America and the Republic of Palau convened in Koror, Palau, June 21-22 for bilateral economic consultations as called for under the Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of Palau Following the Compact of Free Association Section 432 Review, signed by the United States and Palau in 2010 .

U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor and U.S. Department of State Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs Whitney Baird led the U.S. delegation, with Chargé d’Affaires a.i. James Boughner. The President of Palau, H.E. Surangel Whipps, Jr., led the Palau delegation with the Minister of Finance, Kaleb Udui, Jr., and other cabinet officials.  

In his opening remarks, President Whipps stated:

“The annual bilateral consultations provide a forum for what I consider the ABC’s of our economic relationship:  Accountability, Beneficial cooperation, and Capital mobilization – all to be achieved under an umbrella allowing for deep understanding of our mutual status, opportunities, and challenges.”

The bilateral economic consultations included briefings and a review of recommendations from the Palau Economic Advisory Group (EAG), chaired by Professor James G. Galbraith, regarding the country’s economic, financial, and management reforms.  

The bilateral consultations are one of the requirements under the Agreement to review Palau’s progress in achieving reforms to help Palau frame and execute a vision for successful and sustainable economic recovery, reconstruction, and development. This was the first bilateral economic consultation between the two countries.  

In addition to consultations on matters as required in the 2010 CRA, as amended, during these meetings Palau expressed an interest to join the Blue Dot Network for infrastructure certification.  Palau is the site of one of the Blue Dot Network’s pilot projects, a submarine fiber optic cable to securely connect and expand the country’s telecommunications infrastructure to the rest of the world.

The Compact-mandated Palau Economic Advisory Group was launched in 2022, with funding provided through the U.S. Department of the Interior.  Additional information about the Palau Economic Advisory Group, its annual report, and other related documents can be found at

In her closing, Assistant Secretary Cantor remarked, “We are off to a good start, and this first Annual Bilateral Economic Consultation will be a foundation upon which we can… build upon, deepen, and broaden the maturing relationship between the United States and Palau through increased and improved engagement.”

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