Ngardmau Free Trade Zone Authority Chairman Alan Seid led a group of state leaders on an investment exploration trip to China, visiting at least two major firms with different investment portfolios in early May.

The trip was a follow up to earlier negotiations between the Authority and Chinese company officials over the previous months, culminating in the companies’ invitations for on-site visits and further discussions.

In the eastern Chinese city of Yantai, the delegation met with the president and top officials of a mining company, toured its sprawling facilities and engaged in lengthy negotiations that lasted well into the night. Outside Beijing, in still another seaside city, the group held formal talks with one of China’s largest port developers, with at least 38 ongoing projects overseas.

As a follow up, officials from both firms pledged to return the gesture by traveling here this summer to assess the designated Free Trade Zone area in Ngardmau State and meet with authority officials.

The Authority is especially interested in developing Ngardmau Dock into a major commercial port, featuring shipping facilities, a marina and related amenities.

“The Authority believes this would open many economic opportunities for Ngardmau State, the national government and local businesses,” Chairman Seid states.

Established pursuant to RPPL No. 6-40, the Ngardmau Free Trade Zone Authority’s mandate is to identify and attract commercial activities to Palau, and to incentivize investors in an effort to diversify the local economy.

“It is the intention of the Olbiil Era Kelulau to encourage appropriate new business, industrial, and commercial enterprises to relocate to Palau. In order to encourage new economic activity, the Republic must provide tax and other financial incentives similar to those offered by other countries.  To accomplish this, the Olbiil Era Kelulau finds that it is in the best interest of the people of the Republic to provide incentives in the form of tax relief for desirable businesses establishing operations within the free trade zone…,” the law states in part.

State officials who accompanied Chairman Seid on the trip included Governor Johnston B. Aderdroi, Delegate Lucio Ngiraiwet, Ngardmau State Public Lands Authority Chairman Fermin Meriang, Ngirkebai Joshua Kumangai, Sakai Ngirchokebai and the state’s Projects Manager Rodney Esebei. (PR)