28 Jul 2003

Kwajalein Range to use local Marshall Islands businesses

5:21 pm on 28 July 2003

A packed Majuro Chamber of Commerce meeting has heard top officials from the US army's Kwajalein missile testing range lay out their plan for getting large numbers of Marshall Islands companies to start doing business at the base.

Kwajalein Range Services took over the management of the missile testing range in March and has put significant effort into a new "buy local" policy that the US government wants implemented.

The president of Kwajalein Range Services, Carmen Spencer, told the Chamber meeting there are tremendous business opportunities at Kwajalein.

He says if local businesses can get the product to them at a better price and quality, then they'll use it.

A 30, 60 and 90 day schedule was outlined for getting different Marshall Islands products and services on line at the base.

Immediately, Kwajalein wants to buy bottled water, fresh fish and coconut oil soap, all produced locally.

Much of the discussion focused on transportation costs and Spencer indicated it was their aim to have the Army pick up the costs of getting products to Kwajalein.

The response from local businesses has been positive.