A WARM CNMI WELCOME TO MANDARIN AIRLINES

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EDITORIAL Saipan Tribune Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

 

May 9, 2000

At Issue: The start last Friday of direct charter air service between Taiwan and the Commonwealth of the NMI.

Our View: We join the Northern Marianas Community in extending a most profound welcome to Mandarin Airlines.

Nothing has been easy for these isles when its tourism industry suffered from the assaults of the Asian flu. One of the consequences was a major cut in direct air services from major cities in Japan, which essentially led to the closure of over 2,000-plus tourist related businesses.

But the start of direct air service between Taiwan and the NMI should open up windows of opportunities for economic revival of our ailing tourism sector. Such business relationship should further open up opportunities for lasting investments here hailing from Taiwan.

Despite problems with Mainland China and this island nation, "Taiwan makes half the world's notebook computers and is a leading producer of key parts of most computers, including memory chips, graphic cards and motherboards. Many of the same parts are essential for cell phones, video games and other household electronic gadgets.

"In computer chips alone, Taiwanese firms produced about 10 percent of the world's supply last year, output worth about $13 billion. China's efforts to build up its computer industry are heavily dependent on help from Taiwan. In the first quarter of this year, Taiwanese investment in computer and other high-tech projects in China surged fourfold to $320 million," according to an Associated Press news story this week.

With plans to bring Information Technology into the NMI sometime in the near term, perhaps the local leadership ought to explore with Taiwan officials what they did over the years to enable them to attain superb success as one of the world's most advanced countries in high-tech industrial development. There's a lot to learn from such a small Asian Giant in electronics.

It should benefit the NMI in terms of improving the quality of instruction, or simply learning the requisites of bringing in Information Technology to these isles. It is the thing of the future and, lest we forget, the future is now! Si Yuus Maase`!

For additional reports from The Saipan Tribune, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Saipan Tribune.

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