The Board of Governors of the Pacific Islands Development Bank convened its annual meeting at the Palau Royal Resort in Palau on April 28, 2008.

Among the key agenda items in the meeting were the reviews of the Bank´s 2007 Annual Report including its 2007 audited financial statements and the Bank´s 2008 Budget and Goals. Bank President/CEO Aren Palik reported to the Board that 2007 was a record setting year with a 22% loan growth and 13% growth in total assets. The Bank also recorded the highest net earnings since its inception, effectively eliminating its retained deficit. President Palik also reported that the quality of its loan assets has improved substantially with a 0.89% delinquency and further increased its allowance for loan loss reserve. Equally important, the Bank again had a clean audit with an “unqualified” opinion. “Although we had the best year by far in 2007, we still need to do more to help our member countries and States in developing their respective economies”, Palik said. He added, “we need to continue working on our growth related initiatives and strategies outlined in our Strategic Plan to support our funding programs and services.”

Pictured L-R Backrow: Senator Ilai Abraham from Kosrae, Governor Robert Weilbacher from Kosrae, Governor Sebastian Anefal from Yap; Middle Row: Newly elected Board Chairman, Lt. Governor Timothy Villagomez from CNMI, Congressman Diego Benavente from the CNMI, former Lt. Governor Jack Yakana from Pohnpei, Minister of Finance Elbuchel Sadang from Palau; Front Row: Minister of Finance Jack Ading (observer) from the RMI, Speaker Judi Won Pat from Guam, President of PIDB, Aren Palik, Director of Administration Lourdes Perez from Guam, PIDB Administrative Manager Rosa D.L.S Weilbacher, and Senator John Masiwemai (proxy for Speaker Charles Chieng from Yap). © PIDB 2008

In this meeting, the Board also adopted three Resolutions, one of which invites the Republic of the Marshall Islands to join the Pacific Islands Development Bank as a member. The Board acknowledged and welcomed the Honorable Jack Ading, Minister of Finance of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, who attended the meeting as an observer. This was the first time RMI has participated in a PIDB board meeting and there was high hope that it will finally join the Bank.

President Palik updated the Board regarding membership capital and efforts to secure new members, particularly Marshall Islands, American Samoa and Kiribati. Given its growth and expanded role in the region, the Board authorized Management to review the prospect of the Bank owning its own building either through direct purchase or new construction.

The Board reorganized at the end of the meeting, electing Lt. Governor Timothy Villagomez of CNMI as the new Chairman, Governor Sebastian Anefal of Yap as Vice Chairman, and Minster Elbuchel Sadang of Palau as Secretary. Chairman Villagomez thanked his colleagues for electing him as the new Chairman and assured them that he will do his best to carry out his duty and to move the Bank forward.

The Board selected Saipan as its next meeting venue tentatively scheduled for April 2009.