Palau Correspondent


President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. signed on Sept. 29 Palau Public Law 10-11 or the Corporations Registry law, which will regulate corporations in Palau, both domestic and international as well as for-profit and not-for-profit corporations.

In his signing statement, Whipps said the 143-page law upgraded the current corporations’ law and “replaces the law with a modernized version necessary to ensure good governance and lawful business practices.

“It is good to see it finally passed. It has come before us before when we were in the Senate before and we’ve discussed it, but now it has finally become law. We know it is a complex law, it is for an average person to understand. That is why we depend on experts and lawyers to assist to put it together and understanding it. If it has limitations, we can always improve, but the most important is that it’s moving forward, we are making progress,” Whipps said. 

The drafting of the law was made possible through the assistance from the Asian Development Bank, the Financial Investigations Unit, the Attorney General’s Office, and legal counsels of both houses of the Palau Congress.

An Oct. 21 press statement from the ADB said the new law will modernize and simplify business start-up and operation requirements by eliminating unnecessary and outdated formalities, making it faster and cost-effective to register and manage businesses in the future.

The law also ensures Palau complies with global anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism obligations.

“Making it easier for businesses to start and operate is one of the most sustainable ways to support increased private sector activity and stimulate economic growth,” said ADB Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office Regional Director Lotte Schou-Zibell. “That’s why ADB is supporting Pacific governments to reform their business legal environments to be modern, inclusive, and well-suited to the region’s small island economies.”

PWhipps said the bill has been proposed many times during different administrations and he is happy to announce it finally during this Congress.

 The law was developed with support from the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative — an ADB technical assistance program undertaken in partnership with the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

“The passing of this act gives Palau a modern foundation to support business activity,” said Minister of Finance Kaleb Udui Jr.

“These reforms reflect the Government of Palau’s commitment to improve its business legal environment, support private sector growth, and enhance Palau’s economic prosperity –– a pillar of our Pathway to 2030,” the ADB statement said. mbj