2 Aug 2005

US Interior Department says economies of some Pacific Islands can't be sustained

10:26 am on 2 August 2005

The US Interior Department deputy secretary says without government funds, American affiliated Pacific island economies can't be sustained.

David Cohen says a healthy economy should be based on a strong private sector.

But he said, in many US territories, it's the opposite with oversized governments and an undersized private sector.

The US based Office of Insular Affairs is promoting business development as a top priority.

Mr Cohen said an Interior Department sponsored Business Opportunities Conference held in 2004 has been followed up with a recent business trip to Guam, the Northern Marianas and Palau this year.

Although there are no dates yet, Mr Cohen said he is keen to lead a similar business mission to the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia to encourage businesses that can add value to their economies.