"THE ROLE OF BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS

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MAUI PACIFIC CENTER Kihei, Maui, Hawai‘i

NEWS RELEASE July 22, 1999

Maui Pacific Center's 9th Annual Pacific Islands Conference

IN PACIFIC ISLAND ECONOMIC GROWTH"

November 9-12, 1999

This Pan-Pacific Conference, hosted by Maui Pacific Center and the East-West Center, will bring together representatives of private industry and government to discuss the purpose, benefits, "best practices," and the challenges facing business associations in the region.

The conference will include presentations by speakers from throughout the Pacific region, as well as workshops, roundtable discussions, and other activities in a setting that promotes information sharing, dialogue and networking opportunities.

Many island countries have formed business associations, such as chambers of commerce and trade groups, intended to stimulate growth of their private sector. Their constituencies, services offered, structures and funding sources may differ, but generally they all aim to provide information and training to members, act as an intermediary between private industry and the government, and inform the local and global communities about business activities. Moreover, the challenges they face are often the same, such as establishing adequate resources, a greater presence in the business community, an effective decision-making body, and legitimacy as a representative of private concerns in government.

Therefore, the upcoming conference provides an invaluable opportunity for a collective brainstorming session and, perhaps the development of common approaches to shared problems.

"As island governments work to improve their economies, they are increasingly reliant on the strength of the private sector and consultations with the business community," reports Diane Zachary, President of the Maui Pacific Center. "Those business associations with a truly representative membership, which express the views of that body, are well organized, and work cooperatively with government have the greatest opportunity to positively influence trade and commercial growth."

The November conference is the ninth annual event, organized by Maui Pacific Center, in an on-going series devoted to issues of importance to Pacific Island nations. This year's program, cosponsored by the East-West Center, has been developed with the input of several regional business associations. Business and government officials from twenty-one island countries and territories will be invited to participate.

Registration is open to all interested parties. Early registration runs through September 30, 1999; the early conference registration fee for all three days is $295. After September 30, the fee will be $375. The conference fee includes materials, a reception, three lunches, and two dinners. There are daily rates available as well.

The Outrigger Wailea Resort is providing a special hotel rate for registered conference attendees.

To receive the conference announcement and registration information, contact Maui Pacific Center, 590 Lipoa Parkway, Suite 202, Kihei, Maui, HI USA 96753; telephone (808) 875-2310; fax (808) 875-2306; e-mail info@mauipacific.org.

For more information, contact: Shreya Mukerji Maui Pacific Center 590 Lipoa Parkway; Suite 202 Kihei, Maui, HI 96753 USA

Telephone (808) 875-2317 Fax (808) 875-2306 shreya@mauipacific.org

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