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HONOLULU, Hawaii (January 28, 1998 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---The Trade and Investment Working Group of the United States - Pacific Island Nations Joint Commercial Commission (JCC) will meet next week at Hawaii's East-West Center to consider ways to expand trade and other business opportunities in the Pacific Islands region.

Co-chairing the day-long working session Tuesday, February 3, will be Epel Ilon, the Federated States of Micronesia's Special Assistant to President Jacob Nena, and Ambassador Aurelia Brazeal, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific.

The JCC's Trade and Investment Project Assistant, Darlene Spadavecchia, said the meeting also will consider implementation of new U.S.-Pacific business Internet services and ways to promote private sector investment and development in the Pacific region.

Representatives of several Hawaii businesses have been invited to participate in the JCC discussions, she added, including officials from the Bank of Hawaii, Hawaiian Electric Company, and Outrigger Hotels and Resorts.

Spadavecchia also noted that U.S. JCC representation has transferred from the Department of Commerce to the Department of State.

Pacific Islands representatives scheduled to attend the JCC meeting include ranking representatives from the governments of the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Samoa.

The Honolulu-based Pacific Islands Development Program serves as Secretariat for the JCC.

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