January 9 – President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., at the National Leadership Meeting today with the Olbiil Era Kelulau (national congress) requested both houses to approve (by joint resolution) a loan agreement between the Republic of Palau and International Cooperation and Development Fund of Taiwan (Taiwan ICDF) that would establish a Women and Youth Entrepreneurs and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME’s) re-lending project in Palau.

“With Congress’, the $5,000,000 loan program will be used to capitalize the National Development Bank of Palau (NDBP), in order to grow its loan portfolio and increase the availability of credit in Palau. The program is also intended to promote greater participation by women in economic activities, to support youth entrepreneurship, and to boost “micro, small, and medium enterprises”. This is an initiative aimed at expanding opportunity in the Republic. Once again, we owe our thanks to the Republic of China, Taiwan, for partnering with Palau in this important people-to-people endeavor.” Says President Tommy E. Remengesau. Jr.

The objectives of the lending program are directly in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 8, and in particular with Target 8.10, to “strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance, and financial services for all.”

The UN has identified this new decade as a “decade of action for the sustainable development goals,” and this loan program is an important step forward for Palau in that effort.