President Surangel Whipps Jr. left for another two-week overseas travel this January, departing last Saturday and returning on the 25th of the month.

Whipps left Palau on Saturday, January 8, to Saipan to attend Governor Arnold Palacios and Lt. Governor David Apatang’s inauguration. From Saipan, he travels to Los Angeles, California, to witness the signing of the COFA MOU and then to Abu Dhabi to attend Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which runs from January 15th to 19th.  After that, he will go to Dubai, Saudi Arabia, for “official business,” according to a report from the Office of the President.

In Dubai, President Whipps will hold private gatherings with Palau Digital Residents.

This January could set the pace for the rest of the year 2023.

Last year was a hectic travel time for President Whipps, with him traveling out of the country for most of the months of 2022.

In February 2022, he traveled to Hawaii to attend the 44th WESTOP Conference. In April, he attended the JCM in Hawaii and then went to Washington D.C. to meet then-newly appointed US Compact Special Envoy Ambassador Joseph Yun.  In May of the same year, he returned to Hawaii to pay courtesy visits to Bank of Hawaii executives about Palau’s plans for stablecoins. 

In July of 2022, President Whipps had a personal trip with his family for a three-week vacation that included him receiving an honorary doctorate from his alma mater at Andrews University in Michigan, USA.

Toward the end of 2022, Whipps’s travel-packed calendar had him leaving the country on September 6 and returning on September 20th, only to go again on the 24th.  The travel included a state visit to Japan for the funeral of former Prime Minister Abe, a visit to Palauans in Guam, the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders in Hawaii, and a meeting with the US President Biden and Pacific leaders in Washington DC.

Whipps went to Singapore from Washington DC on October 1st to 4th and then on to Taiwan for the official state visit, causing him to miss Palau’s Independence Day Celebration on October 1st. He stayed for a few days after his official visit to Taiwan for a medical follow-up and returned home for a few days before departing to Busan, Korea, for the 16th World Ocean Forum and returned home only to leave after a week to attend COP27 in Egypt from November 6 to 18. He attended the 2nd Ocean Summit in Singapore at the end of November.

President Whipps’s travel schedule has been jam-packed, and his ministers have traveled extensively in the past year, with Minister Steven Victor of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment logging in the most miles.

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