News Release

Kosrae Chamber of Commerce KOSRAE, Federated States of Micronesia

Nov. 8, 2006

The first Kosrae Chamber of Commerce Business Symposium, held October 19, received unanimous acclaim from the participants.

"Congratulations again on a successful symposium and thank you for inviting us to be a part of it" said Richard Sablan of FSM Lines.

His comment was reflected many times by other presenters and participants.

The Symposium was designed as a business-to-business meeting, bringing local business people in direct contact with major off-island suppliers and vendors.

Dignitaries such the U.S. Ambassador to the FSM, Suzanne Hale and Chinese First Secretary, Mr. Chen, joined representatives from Continental Micronesia Airlines, Matson and Kyowa Shipping Lines, FSM Telecom, the Bank of Guam, the Bank of the FSM, the FSM Development Bank, the FSM Banking Commission and Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center Network in seminars, panel discussions and presentations.

With approximately 70 participants, all sectors of the Kosraean business community were well represented.

Presentations were made by:

Robert Nelson, associated with the Pacific Power Association, made a short presentation on the current fuel crisis, the implications for the Kosraean economy and potential solutions.

Howard Rice, College of Micronesia Hospitality Department Chair, discussed future initiatives in the tourism sector that may greatly stimulate the Kosraean economy.

This watershed event, the first conference of it’s kind on Kosrae, opened dialog between local and off island businesses leading to the identification of common issues and discussion of solutions to these issues.

The Kosraean economy has been suffering the past several years due to cutbacks in U.S. Compact funds and the regional reduction in visitor numbers.

The Symposium is seen as an important first step as the Kosraean business community takes control of it’s own destiny.

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