NORTH PACIFIC LEGISLATORS URGE FREE TRADE, LOWER AIR FARES

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SAIPAN,CNMI (Marianas Variety/PINA) - Developing free trade in their products and cutting air fares to their islands were main resolutions from the Association of Pacific Islands Legislatures meeting in Saipan.

The meeting, of legislators from the Micronesian region, urged developing home-grown products of member islands through removing import and export taxes on trade between them in these.

The resolution was introduced by Palau Senate Floor Leader Steven Kanai, and Northern Marianas representatives Francisco DLG. Aldan, Matin Ada, and House Vice Speaker Manuel Tenorio.

The association said that Pacific islands are experiencing increasing imports of handicrafts, seafood and other produce from Asia and the rest of the world.

They said this could be countered by strengthening the islands’ home grown produce by making them exempt from import taxes among member entities.

By encouraging free trade among member entities, the legislators said, local producers and local consumers would be economically empowered.

The association also urged the region's dominant airline, Continental Micronesia, to look at airfares.

It said the airline should consider fare reductions "when warranted," forestall fare increases when reductions are not warranted and offer preferred rates for air travel within Micronesia.

It said the airline could "encourage travel, influence tourism in a positive manner and stimulate Micronesian economies even further."

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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