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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (February 18, 1999 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---The Trade and Investment Working Group of the United States-Pacific Island Nations Joint Commercial Commission (JCC) will meet Monday, February 22, at Hawai‘i’s East-West Center.

During the daylong session, the group will review the past year’s JCC achievements and consider new ways to expand trade and other business opportunities in the Pacific Islands region.

Co-chairs for the meeting will be the Federated States of Micronesia’s Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Epel Ilon, and Ralph Boyce, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the U.S. Department of State.

The Director of the Pacific Islands Development Program and head of the JCC Secretariat, Dr. Sitiveni Halapua, said "Among other matters, delegates from the Cook Islands, the FSM, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the United States will consider organizing additional business development conferences in the region, to follow up a very successful initial venture last year in Honolulu."

Other agenda items, he added, include how best to use the Internet to promote new commercial ventures involving the Pacific Islands, a review of U.S. agricultural import and transshipment regulations and collaborating with the South Pacific Forum to expand regional private enterprise.

Halapua said the meeting also will hear the experiences and perspectives of several Hawai‘i business executives in efforts to expand business contacts and activities in the Pacific.

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