WITH the impending military buildup and the downturn in countries that have sustained Guam's economy, an economics expert
University of Guam Economics Professor Dr. Roseanne Jones was the guest speaker during the Association of Government Accountants Guam Chapter's monthly membership meeting at the Outrigger Guam Resort. Matt Weiss / Variety
points out this can be the chance for the island to develop its own self-sustaining economy.
University of Guam Economics Professor Dr. Roseanne Jones was the guest speaker during the Association of Government Accountants Guam Chapter's monthly membership meeting at the Outrigger Guam Resort, presenting her lecture on “Guam Economic Development: Trade and Demographic Indicators.”
Jones spoke about the physical manifestations of an improvement of trade and the importance of Guam, citing the developments being made at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport and the Port Authority of Guam.
“There's a new cement company that's coming to the Port area,” said Jones. “You can say, 'Well why is it that we get so excited about cement?' [But] these are the very key fundamental ingredients of economic development. The building going on, the capacity to build – that's what excites me ... regional trade.”
Jones also spoke about the downturn in Japan and the United States.
“Certainly [these are] difficult times for both of those nations, and it is a difficult time for Guam. It’s unprecedented that we have had both major nations that have been trading partners or countries that we've relied on for the two major sectors of our economy – tourism and federal investments in military – both not in the position to be spreading to the West like they used to,” Jones stated.
Despite that downturn, it presents an opportunity for Guam to look within itself to develop the economy instead of relying on the other countries to sustain us.
“For the first time, we may have this door opening where we can really begin to think about how we sustain ourselves,” said Jones.
“We've got the beginnings of domestic demand, we've got the beginnings of a solid infrastructure … but we have a momentum building and we have an opportunity to look to ourselves and say, 'Hey, what do we have and how can we make the most of what we have?’”
Jones pointed out the many things Guam already has in order to develop its self-sustaining economy, from the foundations of infrastructure and the growing educated population to the beginning of a hub of regional trade with island neighbors.
“We know that Japan and the United States will always be there,” said Jones. “But not with the same level and intensity that they once were.”