U.S. Department of Interior to Host Forum for Asian Investors, Eyes Expanded Asian investment in U.S. Territories in the Pacific

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The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) will conduct the Secretary of the Interior's 4th Conference on Business Opportunities in the Islands October 8-9, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Guam. The purpose of the conference is to make businesses aware of the special opportunities for trade and investment that exist in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Approximately 300 business executives from Asia are expected to attend.

The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) announced that it is hosting a business conference with the objective of highlighting trade, investment, and partnership opportunities in three U.S. territories and three independent nations in free association with the U.S. in the Pacific.    

The conference, the Secretary of the Interior's 4th Conference on Business Opportunities in the Islands, is expected to attract approximately 300 executives from North and Southeast Asia, including Japan, China, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, as well as businesses from the mainland United States and across the U.S.-affiliated insular areas. Last year's conference in Honolulu attracted over 700 participants; a similar level of participation is expected at this year's Conference. Its principal objective, according to organizers at the Department of the Interior, is to make businesses aware of the special opportunities for trade and investment that exist in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Conference participants will benefit from networking events with executives and key decision-makers from the islands, the United States, and the Asia-Pacific region, and will soon be able to pre-register for one-on-one meetings with other Conference participants, according to a DOI statement.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs David Cohen will visit the Philippines and Japan next month to promote the conference and its objective of increased trade and investment between companies in the region and U.S. territories and affiliated nations in the Pacific.

Cohen advises the Secretary of the Interior on operational and administrative matters involving four U.S. territories and three nations in "free association" with the United States of America. His office manages a budget of over US$400 million per year, much of it direct assistance to the seven U.S.-affiliated insular areas. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a Juris doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

The conference will take place October 8 - 9 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Guam. Participation is open to all, and registration is available online at http://www.islandbusinessopportunities.com.

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