Calls for approval of 2 to 3 high-end projects by 2017
By: L.N. Reklai
January 10, 2017 (Koror, Palau) President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. at a Tuesday meeting with the EQPB Board of Directors and staff, called for a more proactive, coordinated and prompt approval process for projects that meet “high-end” investment criteria.
Remengesau emphasized that one of his primary objectives for the coming four years is to “implement the Pristine Paradise Palau brand by promoting and encouraging high end investment” and that he is willing to work with anyone to achieve this goal.
He asked that EQPB coordinate its efforts with agencies such as the Foreign Investment Board, Historical Office, Office of the President to improve the permitting process.
Stating that the current process is “time consuming, frustrating and bureaucratic”, he calls for a joint review process that involve all relevant partners such as FIB and others to coordinate their efforts.
EQPB expressed concerns about basing their approval on FIB’s review and permitting process, especially with regards to erosion and waste water concerns. They also raised concern about lack of qualified manpower to review the permits.
Remengesau recommended they hire additional personnel and to increase number of Board meetings in order to reduce the review time. He urged that all relevant agencies operate under the concept of “how do we entice high value investments.”
President also emphasized that development of aquaculture in Palau is a priority and should also receive such consideration from EQPB with regards to permitting process. “We want to see conservation with sustainable development.” [/restrict]