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The Republic of the Marshall Islands President (RMI)Dr Hilda Heine has detailed how the nation can build a better economy for our people from its strategic location in the central Pacific.
President Heine also detailed in her government’s Economic Policy Statement how the RMI “must strive to continue improving our domestic telecommunications and information technology services”.
“Our nation is small and isolated, making transport and trade with major markets costly, therefore the Government has planned properly and responsibly” President Heine said.
“While communication with the outside world has also been historically costly and inconsistent, the investment in our submarine fibre optic cable in 2010 dramatically improved our connectivity with the rest of the world.
The Government also recently signed an agreement with Taiwan for a US$640,000 investment to kickstart the outer islands cellular connectivity via satellite broadband.
“This initiative, which will eventually cost us between US$6 and US$7 million will transform communication and connectivity, and the private sector in the Marshall Islands. It is a game changer for the RMI.
“Our geography does not only challenge us, but it also presents real opportunities for development.
“Our strategic location in the central Pacific, large ocean area, and natural resources and beauty are assets upon which we can build a better economy for our people.
“We need to better leverage and manage these endowments if we are to derive higher development dividends from them.”
President Heine said access to international markets was crucial for a “small island economy with a narrow resource base”.
“Hardship in various forms and rural-urban disparities continue to exist. This is the case in both our urban centers and outer islands, and there is a clear trend of urban migration, with Majuro and Kwajalein atolls now home to three-fourths of our population.
“Our urban economies in Majuro and Kwajalein rely heavily on government bureaucracy and the Kwajalein missile base for employment and income.
“At the heart of the development is human development, and at the heart of human development is early childhood and maternal health, nutrition, and care.
“We must redouble our efforts to ensure that every child born in the RMI is provided the proper health, nutrition, and care especially in the first 1000 days of life.
“Such an investment will have a greater impact on our long term social, economic, and development prospects than any other investment we can make,” she said.
SOURCE: MARSHALL ISLANDS GOVT/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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