Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. touted Palau’s positive economic growth in the last two years in his State of the Republic Address (SORA) delivered on April 14 before members of the Palau Congress.
Citing facts, the president said Palau’s economy grew by five percent in 2014 and 12 percent in 2015. The growth was driven by the surge in tourism translating to $158.9 million in revenues for fiscal year 2015. Palau also had a record-breaking tourism number that year with 168,768.
President Tommy Remengesau Jr. delivers his State of the Republic Address on April 14.
Photo courtesy of the Office of the President
He said Palau’s financial situation was unfavorable in 2013 but reforms have turned around the economy and instead of deficits, budget surplus was gained.
The president said the expansion of Palau’s economy could not have been possible without the help of Congress, traditional leaders and state leaders.
President Remengesau greets the crowd before he enters the Senate Chamber in the Congress Building in Melekeok, Palau before he delivers his State of the Republic Address. Photo by Ongerung Kambes Kesolei
“Today I am very happy and proud to report the work accomplished by this administration and the Olbiil Era Kelulau in responding to this dire situation. Three and a half years since taking office, we now have a balanced budget. In fact, we have a surplus, of our own making,” Remengesau stated.
The president no doubt took pleasure in announcing that in the span of three years, Palau had succeeded in raising the minimum wage, providing cost of living increases to government employments, paid contributions in a timely manner and put in place a General Reserve Fund.
The president also said Palau’s economic outlook remains positive with large infrastructure projects lined up from water and sanitation improvements, fiber optic cable project, airport expansion, establishment of a marine sanctuary and several hotel constructions underway.
Despite these expansion, the president said Palau will stay true to its mission that the environment will not be compromised in exchange of development.
“As I have always said that environment is our economy and our economy is our environment; it is our most important asset. Not only does our tourism industry depend on the environment, so too do our people,” Remengesau said.
The address was delivered for at least an hour at the Capitol Building in Melekeok.