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american samoa business opportunities report

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  • AMERICAN SAMOA BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES REPORT

    PREPARED FOR THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

    OFFICE OF INSULAR AFFAIRS

    ADAM STEIN SEPTEMBER 2004 UPDATED BY RICK TURNER JULY 2007

    Disclaimer: This document has been prepared by MBA students, or recent graduates, to disseminate information on American Samoa for the purposes of the 2007 Business Opportunities Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs. The views and recommendations contained in this document, however, are solely those of its author and not the U.S. Government or any agency or officer thereof. Those intending to initiate ventures in this location are advised to conduct independent due diligence.

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    American Samoa i Business Opportunities Report

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................ 1 BACKGROUND ................................................................................................................ 3

    Geography....................................................................................................................... 3 Economy ......................................................................................................................... 4 Society............................................................................................................................. 5 Governance ..................................................................................................................... 6

    INVESTMENT CLIMATE ................................................................................................ 6 Potential for Trade .......................................................................................................... 6 Assets .............................................................................................................................. 6 Incentives ........................................................................................................................ 7 Infrastructure................................................................................................................... 8

    OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH .................................................................................. 9 Growth Industries............................................................................................................ 9 Local Resources ............................................................................................................ 10 Agricultural Products .................................................................................................... 11 Port Facilities ................................................................................................................ 12 Marina Development .................................................................................................... 13 Proposed New International Ferry Dock and Marina at Malaloa ................................. 14 Airfreight....................................................................................................................... 15 Telecommunications & Information Technology......................................................... 16 Alternative Energy........................................................................................................ 17 Tourism Development .................................................................................................. 18

    FURTHER OPPORTUNITIES ........................................................................................ 20 Manufacturing............................................................................................................... 20 Sales and Distribution................................................................................................... 20 Infrastructure................................................................................................................. 21 Tourism......................................................................................................................... 21 Export............................................................................................................................ 22

    APPENDIX....................................................................................................................... 23 BIBLIOGRAPHY............................................................................................................. 37

    References..................................................................................................................... 37 Acknowledgments......................................................................................................... 37

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    American Samoa 1 Business Opportunities Report

    ECUTIVE SUMMARY Tuna canneries have long been the driving force in American Samoas economy. They employ a third of the available labor, and account for much of the secondary employment. In their more than four decades of operation, the canneries have brought income to American Samoa; and have driven the development of an infrastructure that is among the best in the Pacific. Now American Samoa is looking beyond the canneries, seeking to diversify its economy away from its current narrow base. Although American Samoa faces the same difficulties of size and geography that confront many island economies, it has a rich set of assets to draw on as it explores new avenues for growth. Chief among those assets is a robust telecommunications infrastructure that is helping to shrink the distance between American Samoa and its major trading partners on the United States (U.S.) mainland and elsewhere. High-speed internet connects businesses both on- and off-island. Forward-thinking initiatives have supplied the American Samoa with advanced capabilities such as teleconferencing and distance learning facilities. Other advantages include: Reliable and affordable power, water, and waste disposal. An educated, English-speaking population. A stable government and a legal framework based on the U.S. rule of law. American Samoa offers several areas for potential investments. Local resources. American Samoa sits among the most abundant fishing grounds in

    the world. Numerous markets for high-quality fish exports are waiting to be tapped. There is also a push to expand local agriculture and hydroponics to supply both local needs and regional markets.

    E-Commerce, distance learning and technical support services. As demand grows for advanced vocational skills, technology will play a crucial role in educating the future of American Samoa. The new connections to the global submarine fiber optic cable network will ensure American Samoas future as a center for advanced technology services.

    Marina Development. Pago Pago Harbor is known in world yachting communities as a safe haven during the hurricane season. The development of a first class marina will create increased traffic and attract high end visitors to American Samoa for extended periods. Local charter boat services will have an excellent place to promote their expeditions and support the tourism industry.

    Alternative energy. Long an energy innovator, American Samoa is looking to alternative sources of power as diesel costs and transportation costs continue to rise.

    Tourism development. Land is a precious commodity in American Samoa, and proper development of hotels and retail spaces is essential to economic growth.

    Transportation and Transshipment. American Samoa is blessed with one of the best deep-water harbors in the world, and the Pago Pago International Airports facilities make it ideal to become a hub for transshipment.

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    American Samoa 2 Business Opportunities Report

    American Samoa seeks partners in its future growth: investors who can bring much-needed capital to provide new investment and employment opportunities for its people; operational experts who bring specialized skills to the management of American Samoas increasingly sophisticated private sector; foreign corporations who seek to expand in a dynamic region of the world; and contractors to help implement American Samoas new economic vision.

  • BACKGROUND

    American Samoa 3 Business Opportunities Report

    BACKGROUND Geography American Samoa is comprised of five islands and two coral atolls with a total land area of 76 square miles. Located in the tropics roughly halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, American Samoa is the only U.S. territory south of the Equator.

    Tutuila Island Tutuila is American Samoas largest island, the center of all administrative and economic activity, and home to over 90% of American Samoas population of 65,500. Steep but picturesque mountains cover most of Tutuilas 56 square miles. Pago Pago harbor, one of the deepest and most sheltered harbors in the Pacific, is located on Tutuila. Also on the island are an exceptionally beautiful national park, the highly acclaimed national marine sanctuary of Fagatele Bay, and the worlds largest tuna canning facility, Starkist Samoa.

    Manua Islands Approximately 1,379 people live on the narrow coastal fringes of Ofu, Olosega, and Tau, which together comprise the Manua island group. The pristine landscape and serenity make these islands a highly desirable vacation destination, although remoteness and lack of infrastructure have led to underdevelopment of the tourist industry.

    Aunuu, Swains Island & Rose Island With small populations and minimal infrastructure, these remote islands and atolls are unequipped to support significant economic

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