The news that Palau and Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang in Vietnam have signed a cooperation agreement on fishing and seafood consumption drew criticism from Palauan forums in the social media.
The signing of the agreement by House of Delegates Speaker Sabino Anastacio raised concerns among the citizens saying that only the Executive Branch has the authority to sign agreements on behalf of the government. [restrict]
Concerns raised also touched on what the fishing agreement might mean given that by 2021, Palau would close 80 percent of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to commercial fishing.
In previous years, Palau has burned and apprehended Vietnamese “blue” boats caught poaching in its waters.
The news article, published by Vietnam Breaking News, April 4, said that the document was signed by Speaker Sabino Anastacio and the Thai Hoa and the Thai Hoa Trading Service Seafood Company based in the Tan Phuoc district.
In the said article, Palau and Thai Hoa “discussed local economic potential and investment opportunities in fishing, seafood processing and export, industrial trees and tourism development.”
The Palau speaker, for his part, briefed the hosts on the potential and investment opportunities in his country, the article stated.
The House of Delegates has yet to issue a statement regarding the trip. The Office of the President has also not commented on the reported agreement signing between Palau and Mekong Delta Province.
It was learned that Anastacio and his delegation are scheduled to return to Palau this weekend. [/restrict]