CNMI Governor to host COVID-19 economic summit

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(PNC file photo)

CNMI Governor Ralph DLG. Torres, in collaboration with Graduate School USA, will host a Fiscal Response Summit from April 23-28, with the CNMI Legislature, business leaders, and the public.

The purpose of the summit is to address the fiscal challenges in the CNMI caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“The global outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in a deep and dramatic shift in the structure of our economy and how our community interacts with one another and the world. These repercussions have caused tremendous consequences to employment, incomes and to obtaining the revenue necessary to support essential government services and programs,” Torres said.

He said it is clear that in response to the unprecedented challenge, the community must come together to chart a path forward for its government in new and innovative ways. It is important to ensure that the many voices of the community are heard in the difficult, but necessary conversations about how government functions.

The summit will build upon the findings of the Governor’s Fiscal Response Task Force, which is composed of members from the CNMI Department of Finance, Office of Management and Budget, and Graduate School USA.

Last month, the task force created the Commonwealth Fiscal Response Briefing Paper that describes the fiscal position of the CNMI, the current economic climate, and the factors that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Due to the ongoing concerns related to COVID-19 and to continue the CNMI’s practice of social distancing, the summit will take place largely through video conference technology.

The Fiscal Response Summit will start tomorrow, April 23, at 9:00 a.m. Members of the public are invited to participate in the plenary session of the summit.

Interested individuals can register to receive information, as well as review the briefing paper findings and the structure of the summit online through the following link http://cnmi.pitiviti.org/. Only those who have registered their contact information on the website will be able to join the opening plenary session.