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Palau becomes 171st UNIDO member

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. speaks at UN headquarters in New York. Photo courtesy of UNIDO

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Vienna - Palau stands to receive more global assistance in its efforts to diversify its economy after becoming the 171st member-state of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“We want to strengthen and diversify our economy and move to one that is more resilient and secure. We look forward to working with UNIDO as we forge a path to provide and protect based on a sustainable blue economy," Palau President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. said.

UNIDO provides a cross-cutting approach to support sustainable and inclusive solutions for the global fisheries sector by mobilizing its international expertise in diverse areas, including private sector development, value chain enhancement, institutional capacity building, and market-driven skills development.

"UNIDO stands ready to support small island developing states with know-how and policy advice, especially in areas such as environmental protection, adaptation to the effects of climate change, sustainable energy and the blue economy," Gerd Müller, UNIDO director general, said, welcoming Palau.


Palau is considered a leader on ocean issues and the government is committed to a sustainable ocean economy in which effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand-in-hand.

The Palau Blue Prosperity Plan aims to balance the protection of Palau’s precious marine resources with sustainable use of those resources for the benefit of all Palauans.

The Palauan archipelago includes hundreds of coral and volcanic islands, of which 12 are inhabited. It is part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean. More than 70 percent of the population of some 18,000 live on the commercial hub of Koror Island.

Fish, coconuts, breadfruit, bananas and taro cultivation constitute the subsistence sector.

Tourism grew in importance during the late 20th century but the number of visitors declined dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic.

Apart from tourism, commercial activities include wholesale/retail trade, business services, commercial fisheries and construction. Exports include tropical aquarium fish, ornamental clams and corals, coconut oil and handicrafts.

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