RMI Appoints New CEO Of Office Of Commerce & Industry

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

News Release

Marshall Islands Office of Commerce & Investment Majuro, Marshall Islands

June 9, 2014

The board of the Office of Commerce & Investment (OCI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ravuni Uluilakeba as its first chief executive officer. His appointment is for 3 years with effect from July 2, 2014.

Uluilakeba joins OCI after successfully serving as chief executive officer of Investment Fiji for three and a half years. Investment Fiji is the investment and trade promotion agency of Fiji, which is what the newly established OCI is for Marshall Islands.

Commenting on his appointment OCI chairman and Minister for Resource & Development, Michael Konelios, said, "The board is very pleased to attract a person of Ravuni’s caliber to lead OCI."

"Ravuni has an impressive corporate career including CEO of Investment Fiji, a position he held successfully until he resigned recently to join OCI," said the chairman.

"He comes with a lot of relevant experience and know-how, including in-depth knowledge of business process analysis and design, marketing, cost control and revenue maximization," he added.

According to the chairman, "These knowledge are Important to successfully lead OCI, and beneficial in streamlining investment process and evaluating investment projects."

He said that one of Uluilakeba’s achievements in Investment Fiji was to reengineer the investment approval process to reduce internal red tape and minimize the processing time of investment applications.

"This is an example of Ravuni’s relevant previous experience and abilities that encouraged the board to choose him for the post," said the chairman.

An engineer by profession, Uluilakeba began his career in the telecommunication sector, rising from technical cadet to manager marketing in Fiji Telecom Limited.

He then worked for Fiji Electricity Authority as general manager innovation before returning to Fiji Telecom as general manager retail business He holds a MBA from Monash University, Australia and Bachelor of Engineering from Brighton Polytechnic UK.

He was appointed following a rigorous selection process that considered both local and overseas candidates. NZ-based Futurestep, a prominent recruitment firm in the region, assisted the board in the selection process.

Uluilakeba said he was honored to be selected to head OCI and looked forward to taking up the post.

Commenting on the task before him he said, "I have no illusions that the task is very challenging but I’m ready for it."

"I look forward to contributing to the all important task of increasing investment and expanding exports in the Marshall Islands. They are critical for economic growth and welfare improvement," he added.

Uluilakeba is expected in the country in the beginning of July. Once he takes up his position, the new CEO will work with the board to appoint other officers of OCI – a total of 8 staff members.

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