Yap State News Brief, May 22, 2012

Yap Holds Discussion on ETG Proposed Investment Project
On May 21, 2011from 2:30-4:30 pm, the Government of the State of Yap held its first open forum with the people to discuss the proposed development project in Yap by an Investment Company known as “Exhibition and Travel Group” (ETG) which is based in Chengdu city, Peoples Republic of China.

The public forum was conducted at the Colonia Community Center yesterday by a group of Government employees who are updated on the current status of the negotiations between the State Government and ETG.

The group consists Mr. Jeremiah Luther, Acting Attorney General for the State of Yap, Former Governor Vincent Figir who is now the Director of the Department of Public Works & Transportation, Mr. Frank Haregaichig, Director of the Department Resources and Development, Mr. Ruotpong Pongliyab, Director of the Department of Youth & Civic Affairs, Mr. John Paul Fattamag, Acting Director of EPA, and Mr. Vitus Foneg, Division Chief of Commerce & Industry.

Mr. Luther, who led the discussions yesterday, told the crowd that the Government has signed several documents with ETG. “On April 21st of last year the Governor signed the strategic framework of Cooperation between the government of the State of Yap and ETG. The framework is a document pledging cooperation between the State of Yap and ETG. The Government agreed to attempt to help ETG make its project in the State. ETG promised that its project would not harm the economy, traditions, health or environment of the State of Yap or its people”.

Mr. Luther said the Framework does not mean that ETG will get whatever it want from the Governor nor it does not mean that the Governor, Legislature or Court of Yap are forced to support ETG’s proposed project.

The Acting Attorney General said “On October 21st 2011, the Director of the Department of Youth & Civic Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ETG on behalf of the State. This document simply commits both parties to continue to communicate and negotiate in good faith regarding specific needs of the project. This Framework nor the Memorandum of Understanding forces the State to approve the project or sign any agreement including an Investment Agreement."

He also stated, “On January 12 of this year, the Council of Pilung signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Council and ETG. The Council pledges its support for ETG’s proposed development and agrees to act as mediator between landowners and ETG regarding Land Lease”.

The situation on current negotiations regarding specific sections of the latest investment agreement there’s still some big issues that must be discussed and resolved. Before a final version of the Investment Agreement is to be put before the Legislature, the Governor staff must be consulted regarding the specifics prior to the review and approval by the Governor. Once the document is finalized, a copy would be sent to the Legislature for their review and comments.


Web Administrator's Note:
Adding to the news brief, followings are also heard from Mr. Jeremiah Luther, Acting Attorney General, during the meeting:

1) It is highly recommended to consult with a lawyer who helps on your side before entering any agreement with ETG, because there are top class lawyers working for ETG on their side.
2) If anyone witnesses or experiences of bribery, please contact Mr. Jeremiah Luther directly. This thing needs to be investigated.
3) He agreed to plan similar meetings in the village communities.