The Pacific Islands Development Bank (PIDB) Board of Governors held a special meeting in Palau on Friday, July 30, primarily to review and address the bank’s capacity and resource base, vital to its growth and expansion strategy. While the bank has consistently grown in total assets and loan balances in the past five years, increasing its financial resources and capacity remains one of its immediate and highest priorities. The Board, recognizing that need, formed a four-member special Task Force whose main task and objective is to identify and pursue various funding and capitalization sources. “PIDB plays a significant and expanding role in promoting and facilitating the economic development of our island communities”, said Gov. Felix Camacho, Chairman of the PIDB Board of Governors. He added that “we need to secure the necessary resources the bank needs in order to carry out its mission and purpose and forming the Task Force is timely”. Aren Palik, Bank President & CEO, indicated that the bank has been undercapitalized since its inception and cautioned that securing additional capitalization and funding will not be an easy task. “With the ongoing global recession and the economic and financial challenges faced by many industrialized countries, securing additional capital especially through soft loans will not be easy”. Palik added, &quo;the Task Force will work diligently and collaborate with our member governments and development partners as we pursue funding from both public and private sources”.

Governor Robert Weilbacher of Kosrae reported in the meeting that Kosrae has made another purchase of capital stock worth $50,000. This increases Kosrae’s total contributed capital in the bank to $700,000. Yap, Palau, Guam, Pohnpei, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands have already completed its required membership equity capital of $1 million. Chuuk State has contributed $251,000. Chairman Camacho thanked Governor Weilbacher for Kosrae’s continued commitment, especially in these difficult times.

The Board also approved the final terms and conditions of a loan facility between PIDB and FSM Development Bank and discussed the status of Marshall Islands membership in the bank, expressing hope that RMI will soon join the bank with its first membership installment payment. The Board, before adjourning, also elected the following new Officers: Governor Sebastian Anefal of Yap, Chairman, Governor John Ehsa of Pohnpei, Vice Chairman, and Vice President and Minister of Finance Kerai Mariur of Palau, Secretary. Outgoing Chairman Camacho thanked members for their support, adding that it has truly been an honor to serve as Chairman of the Board.

Sitting (from left): Governor John Ehsa (Vice Chairman), Governor Felix Camacho (Chairman), Governor Benigno Fitial, Governor Kerai Mariur (Secretary), Governor Robert Weilbacher, Governor Sebastian Anefal.

Standing (from left): Governor Charles Chieng, Governor/Director Secilil Eldebechel, Director Lourdes Perez, Bank President and Board of Directors Chairman Aren Palik, Speaker Judy Won Pat (proxy for Governor Ben Pangelinan), Governor Ilai Abraham, Governor/Director Thomas Pablo, Governor/Director Diego Benavente, Director Micahel Gaan.

Two days earlier, the bank’s Board of Directors also held its regular meeting and to facilitate the Board of Governors meeting. Among others, the Board reviewed its 2nd quarter operational performance, investment report, adequacy of allowance for loan loss reserve, and took action on commercial loan requests. The seven-member board is chaired by the Bank’s President and CEO.

Pacific Islands Development Bank (PIDB) is a regional development finance institution, created by the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures (APIL), to assist and contribute to the economic and social development of its member nations and States, individually and collectively, and to promote economic cooperation among them. Current members of the bank include the Republic of Palau, Island of Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the FSM States of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. It’s corporate office is located in Guam. To learn more about the bank and its products and services, visit