REVIEW OF FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA’S TRADE POLICY FRAMEWORK AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
|TERMS OF REFERENCE|
|STRENGTHENING PACIFIC INTRA-REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (SPIRIT) PROJECT
EU PRISE PROGRAMME
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Federated States of Micronesia.
The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as the Pillar Assessed Entity (PAE) in the implementation of the SPIRIT Project under the EU PRISE programme for the Pacific region.
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is one of the 14 Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS), consisting of 2,100 islands with a total land area of 1,000 square miles. It has an exclusive economic zone of 1.3 million square miles with a population of 116,225 (2021). The FSM economy is dependent on external grants and access fees from commercial fishing activities. Government plays a central role in incentivizing economic growth and alleviating poverty through sound economic policies. It has a small private sector which is dominated by non-traded goods production and a limited export base. It also has a small, nascent tourism sector.
In its Strategic Development Plan 2004 -2032, the FSM government recognizes the need to develop the private sector to sustain the economy in the long term, sustainably reducing its over-dependence on overseas grants. To achieve this, the government recognizes the urgency to create a conducive and business-enabling environment for the private sector to flourish as a source of sustainable economic growth. This, however, poses formidable challenges in itself.
In 2011, Congress adopted the first-ever Trade Policy for FSM, a significant milestone as it identifies the main obstacles to private sector development and, more importantly, recommends specific and targeted actions to address them. The vision of the National Trade Policy is to encourage and facilitate local and foreign direct investment in agriculture, fisheries, tourism, human resources development, and other supporting services to enable the private sector to produce, quality and competitive goods and services both for the local and the export market, in order to promote export-led economic growth, and sustainable development, with the ultimate objective of creating employment, alleviating hardship and raising the living standards of FSM citizens.
The FSM Trade Policy was adopted by the 16th FSM Congress on January 17, 2011, through Resolution C.R. No. 16-100/R&D. The vision of the 2011 Trade Policy was to promote and facilitate private sector development and foreign direct investment in priority sectors to achieve export-led economic growth and sustainable development, creating employment, improving services, alleviating poverty with the ultimate objective of raising the standards of living in the FSM. The FSM Trade Policy can be accessed here: https://www.forumsec.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/FSM-TPF.pdf.
Annex 2 of the Trade Policy (Implementation Matrix) describes detailed strategies, resources, and programs to put in place, activities and actions to be carried out, expected outcomes, and monitoring indicators for each recommendation. The Implementation Matrix also identified key and other relevant responsible agencies as well as potential sources of funding to implement the Trade Policy and proposed an implementation timeframe.
A National Trade Facilitation Committee established in 2008 to oversee the development of the 2011 FSM Trade Policy was also responsible for monitoring its implementation, which was entrusted to the Division of Trade and Investment, FSM Department of Resources and Development (FSM Department of R&D). At the state level, similar structures were set up, whereby the implementation of trade policy recommendations was the responsibility of State relevant agencies (Service of Commerce and Industry in Chuuk, Department of Resources and Economic Affairs in Kosrae, Office of Economic Affairs in Pohnpei, and Department of Resources and Development in Yap) under the supervision of the State Trade Facilitation Committees.
The Trade Policy is set to be reviewed every three years. The first review was initially scheduled to take place in 2014 but was continuously deferred due to the delay in the kick-off of the trade policy implementation and political changes in 2015. The main reason for delaying the review was due to the lack of capacity within the FSM Department of Resources and Development after funding of the previous Trade Advisor under the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Hub and Spokes Program was discontinued.
This Project aims to urgently review the FSM’s Trade Policy Framework and provide the Government with new recommendations and strategies to guide the country over the years to address its trade and trade-related challenges and achieve sustainable economic development.
To facilitate this process, the FSM Department of Resources and Development is looking for an experienced and motivated individual to be appointed as a short-term Trade Economist for a period of up to 60 working days spread over a period of no longer than five months to assist the FSM Department of Resources and Development, Division of Trade and Investment in the:
(i) review of the 2011 FSM Trade Policy Framework,
(ii) preparation and drafting of the interim report, final reports, and the Policy Statement through an inclusive, participatory process, and
(iii) provide technical advice and expertise for the trade policy review, including national consultations and interviews, preparation and delivery of training, and a national validation workshop.
In December 2022, the FSM, through a national consultative process with the SPIRIT project team at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, formally conveyed its request to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat of its interest to review its 2011 Trade Policy, triggering the next steps in progressing this activity from planning to implementation, tentatively scheduled to commence in March 2023.
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is not a member of the World Trade Organization or party to any regional, sub-regional or bilateral trade arrangement such as the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus), Pacific ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Although FSM signed the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA), it has yet to be ratified and implemented. The Trade Policy remains the key national policy document that will guide FSM’s conduct and engagement on international trade policy matters and how it engages in current and future trade agreements and negotiations.
The overall objective is to support the integration of FSM into the regional and global economy by reviewing its 2011 Trade Policy and identifying further measures to be taken to create a conducive policy environment to foster intra-regional and international trade and develop a productive private sector leading to sustainable economic growth and raise living standards in the country.
The purpose of the short-term consultancy is:
- To undertake a review of FSM’s Trade Policy Framework and Implementation Plan through extensive consultations with relevant national and state stakeholders and assist in preparing a report and a policy statement that outlines FSM’s priorities for implementation.
The Consultant will deliver the following Key Result Areas (KRAs):
- Key Result Area 1 (KRA1): Action Plan for the activities to be covered in Results 2 to 4.
- Key Result Area 2 (KRA2): Inception Report.
- Key Result Area 3 (KRA3): Prepare tools and templates for the review, including questionnaires and face-to-face consultations with key stakeholders.
- Key Result Area 4 (KRA4): Facilitate the national validation workshop and produce a final report on FSM’s Trade Policy review, which shall include a revised Implementation Matrix and a draft Trade Policy statement.
- Key Result Area 5 (KRA5): Written Technical Brief to the Forum Secretariat, including recommendations for Key Result Area 4 (KRA4).
This project assumes that the Federated States of Micronesia will seek additional technical support for capacity building and institutional strengthening to support the implementation of the priority actions/recommendation identified through the review and specific action plans detailed in the Implementation Matrix.
- Unavailability of suitable Consultant at the required time.
- Mobility issues and travel restrictions due to COVID-19.
- Scheduling challenges.
- Lack of data and information or not provided in a timely manner
4.1.1 Description of the assignment
The Federated States of Micronesia formally communicated its request to the PIFS to support the review of its Trade Policy on 20th December 2022. In that communication, it also requested the SPIRIT project implemented by the PIFS under the EU PRISE programme to provide technical support towards this end.
The consultancy shall be completed within a 60-working-day period over six months and will cover three key deliverables or outputs:
(i) Revised Trade Policy, which shall include the Implementation Matrix.
(ii) Policy Statement on (i) and,
(iii) Report on the findings of the national consultations and the outcome of the national validation workshop on the Way Forward.
4.1.2. Geographical area to be covered
Federated States of Micronesia.
4.1.3. Target groups
The target groups comprise FSM government agencies; the private sector; NGOs; and other regional and sub-regional stakeholders.
(i) Key Activity 1: Engage in an inception meeting with the PIFS-SPIRIT Team Leader and the SPIRIT Trade Adviser for Micronesia and senior officials of the FSM Department of Resources and Development to discuss objectives, activities, expected outputs, timelines, and any issues related to the execution of the project that requires clarification.
(ii) Key Activity 2: Prepare and submit an Inception Report based on the clarifications provided at the briefing meeting, inclusive of a detailed Action Plan with specific timelines for completing the consultancy.
(iii) Key Activity 3: Prepare questionnaires and other analytical tools for the desktop or literature review and national consultations with identified key stakeholders. Prepare a draft outline for the Trade Policy review.
(iv) Key Activity 4: Conduct virtual consultations and face-to-face consultative meetings with FSM-based participants and other key stakeholders per the agreed Action Plan. Consultations will be conducted in the states of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap.
(v) Key Activity 5: Review FSMs Trade Policy and Implementation Matrix and prepare a draft Trade Policy Statement.
(vi) Key Activity 6: Facilitate national validation workshop with NTFC.
(vii) Key Activity 7: Submit the first drafts of Key Activity 5, and the draft Report for Key Activity 6 to PIFS for review and comments from internal stakeholders; and
(vii) Key Activity 8: Submit a revised draft of Key Activity (7) to PIFS for endorsement as the final draft.
4.3.1. Responsible body
The PIFS SPIRIT Project Team Leader is the Project Manager and will be responsible for managing the project.
4.3.2 Management structure
The Director Programmes and Initiatives and the Programme Adviser Trade will have oversight responsibilities for the Project. As the Project Manager, and the Team Leader, SPIRIT will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Project.
The Trade Adviser for Micronesia will support the Project Manager by providing guidance in reviewing outputs as may be necessary.
4.3.3 Facilities to be provided by the Contracting Authority and/or other parties
The Contracting Authority will provide access to relevant information it has at its disposal, which is required by this assignment.
The operational base for this consultancy is Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.
The intended start date is March 2023, and the contract’s implementation period will be 60 working days from the mutually agreed date.
|KRA #||Key Activities||No. of working days||Due Date (tentative)|
|KRA1||Engage in an inception meeting with the Department of Resources and Development, PIFS-SPIRIT Team Leader, and the SPIRIT Trade Adviser for Micronesia to discuss objectives, activities, expected outputs, timelines, and any issues related to the execution of the project that requires clarification.||1 day||6 March 2023|
|KRA2||Prepare and submit an Inception Report based on the clarifications provided at the briefing meeting, including a detailed Action Plan with timelines for completing the consultancy.||4 days||10 March 2023|
|KRA3||Prepare questionnaires and other analytical tools for desktop or literature review and national consultations. Provide a draft outline for the Trade Policy review.||5 days||17 March 2023|
|Conduct virtual consultations and face-to-face consultative meetings with FSM-based participants and key stakeholders per the agreed Action Plan. Consultations will be conducted in the states of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap.||15 days||7 April 2023|
|Review FSM’s Trade Policy and Implementation Matrix based on consultations. Prepare FSM’s Trade Policy Statement.||15 days||28 April 2023|
|Submit the first draft of Key Result Area 4 (KRA4) and Key Result Area 5 (KRA5) to PIFS for review and comments from internal stakeholders||12 days||16 May 2023|
|Facilitate validation workshop with the NTFC.||3 days||19 May 2023|
|KRA5||Submit a revised draft of Key Activity (5) and (6) to PIFS for endorsement as the final draft.||5 days||26 May 2023|
This project will require the services of one (1) Consultant.
The Consultant must submit his/her CV and a signed Statement of Exclusivity and Availability.
The profiles of the Consultant for this contract are as follows: Expert in International Trade and Development.
(a) Required Qualifications and skills
- Bachelor’s degree in economics, business administration, or a related field.
- 5+ years of professional experience as an economic consultant or similar role.
- Exceptional analytical and research skills.
- Proven experience in trade policy analysis and formulation.
- Strong writing and presentation skills.
- Ability to work independently and with a team to meet deadlines.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office, with the aptitude to learn new software and systems.
- b) Preferential requirements
In addition to the above, the following will be a distinct advantage:
- Master’s degree in economics, business administration, or related field.
- 10+ years of professional experience as an economic consultant or similar role.
- Working knowledge of statistical analysis software (SPSS, SAS, R, etc.).
- Familiarity with econometric modeling.
- Experience with project management.
- Relevant publications consistent with the sector of interest.
- Knowledge of the federal system of government.
- Previous experience in the country and regional area (Pacific region or any other Small Island Developing States).
- Previous experience conducting economic policy reviews.
- Knowledge of donor-funded trade and economic development programs and regional and sub-regional trade and economic integration initiatives in the Pacific region.
(c) Specific professional experience
- Expert knowledge of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreements, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), and knowledge and understanding of the Pacific Island Countries’ regional trade agreements, including the Pacific EU Economic Partnership Agreement.
- Ability to analyse trade policy recommendations and how they relate to State and National Strategic Development Plans and other sectoral economic policies, strategies, and programs (focusing on their relevance, effectiveness, governance, impact on overall economic development, and sustainability) to identify gaps/areas that need to be re-examined.
- Able to conduct a general analysis of main economic sectors and identify new/future opportunities and the most appropriate trade policy measures and strategies to advance them to foster industrialization and integration into global/regional value chains.
- Experience in trade negotiations will be an asset.
- Independent and free from conflicts of interest in their responsibilities.
The costs for backstopping and support staff, as needed, are included in the contract price. Office accommodation for the Consultant and other experts working on the contract is to be provided by the Consultant. Facilities to be provided by the Consultant.
No equipment is to be purchased on behalf of the Contracting Authority/partner country as part of this service contract or transferred to the Contracting Authority/partner country at the end of this contract. Any equipment related to this contract to be acquired by the partner country must be purchased through a separate supply tender procedure.
PIFS Procurement Policy section 11 – Eligibility of Tenders:
Only bidders who meet the following criteria are eligible to take part in tenders issued by the Secretariat:
- are financially solvent and able to conduct business operations in a professional and successful manner;
- are not involved in any court proceedings which may affect their ability to conduct business or deliver the goods or services tendered;
- do not appear on the World Bank’s list of ‘Listing of ineligible firms’ or ‘Listing of firm’s letters of reprimand’ posted at worldbank.org; and
- are not involved with any of the following:
- grave professional misconduct, including misrepresentation
- conduct related to a criminal organisation
- money laundering or terrorist financing
- terrorist offences or offences linked to terrorist activities
- child labour and other trafficking in human beings
- creating a shell company
- being a shell company
There are no derogations to the above criteria for evaluating tenders.
The eligibility criteria may include legal and administrative status, specific membership in an association or group, or a specific qualification.
Former staff of the Secretariat may be considered for consultancy services provided one year has elapsed since the expiration/conclusion of their engagement with the Secretariat, except when it is clearly in the Secretariat’s interest to retain a particular individual.
The Consultant shall submit the following reports in English:
- Inception Report of a maximum of 12 pages to be produced after four (4) working days from the start of implementation. In the report, the Consultant shall describe, inter alia, initial findings, progress in collecting data or identifying relevant data sources, difficulties encountered or expected in discharging the consultancy, and a post-inception Action Plan.
- Implementation Reports of a maximum of 15 pages on the progress in executing the activities referred to in paragraph 4.2, difficulties encountered or expected in discharging the consultancy. Implementation Reports shall be submitted every four (4) days after the start of implementation.
- Final report no later than seven days before the conclusion of the assignment. The Final Report shall contain a sufficiently detailed description of the activities undertaken under the consultancy.
The reports, briefs, and technical documents referred to above must be submitted to the Project Manager identified in the contract. The Project Manager is responsible for approving the reports. The Project Manager will provide comments to the Consultant within seven (7) days of receiving reports, briefs, and technical documents.
At the contract level, of which the TOR forms an integral part, the briefings and reports shall be the basis on which the performance is monitored and evaluated. Their timely delivery and quality will be monitored closely by the PIFS.
The following criteria shall be used to assess the performance of the Consultant:
- Quality of output documents: The quality of output documents shall be judged by their clarity and the depth to which they comprehensively cover the subject.
- Format: These reports shall be completed in the standard formats used by the EU.
- Meeting deadlines for outputs.
8.1.1 Special requirements
Interested individuals are encouraged to provide written submissions, including a copy of your curriculum vitae and a financial proposal in US Dollars (USD). All pricing should be VAT inclusive (VIP) for local bidders and VAT exclusive (VEP) for foreign bidders. All relevant taxes payable in Fiji should be included in the financial offer.
By submitting a response to this “Request for Tender” (RFT), the bidder warrants that the bidder has the necessary skill, knowledge, experience, and resources to comply with this RFT and is capable of completing the project.
In addition, the bidder warrants that the bidder is not subject to any legal process that may result in the winding up or deregistration of the bidder and that the bidder does not appear on the World Bank’s listing of ineligible firms.
The bidder’s response must be in English.
Should the bidder become aware of any discrepancy, error, or omission in the document submitted, and the bidder wishes to lodge a correction or provide additional information, that material must be in writing and lodged before evaluating the RFT responses.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate the tender:
|Relevant work experience and proven track record in Trade Policy Analysis and Formulation||30
|Relevant experience in conducting economic policy reviews and preparing reports and policy recommendations||30|
|Academic Qualifications in Economics, International Trade, Law, Development Studies, and/or International Relations||25|
|Relevant experience working with national, regional, or international organisations on similar assignments||15
|Total Technical Evaluation||100%|
Please provide details of current work commitments; and
Provide referee contacts of previous work relevant to this consultancy.
The final selection of the preferred service provider will be established by weighing technical quality against the price on an 80/20 basis.
To submit a proposal, please visit TENDERS.NET – http://www.tenders.net