Washington, D.C., The Department of the Interior is pleased to announce that registrations have opened for the 2006 Conference on Business Opportunities in the Islands. The Conference will showcase business opportunities in the seven island jurisdictions for which the Department has responsibility and focus on win-win opportunities that benefit both the mainland and the islands.

The Conference will be held on Nov. 13-14, 2006, at the Waikiki Marriott in Honolulu, and will include industry experts and local businesspeople speaking on tourism, tourism and real estate development, infrastructure development, tax incentives, utilities and telecommunications, among other topics. The islands present numerous attractive opportunities for Hawaii and mainland business people including:

*Tourism. The increasing popularity of specialty tourism, including cruises and scuba diving, coupled with growing demand from China and other Asian countries, indicates strong potential for tourism in the islands. Local island-based entrepreneurs are seeking partners in marketing and real estate development.

*High Tech/Broadband. The spread of technology is opening up new opportunities, as advanced telecommunications help to bridge the considerable geographic distances between islands. The U.S. Virgin Islands is connected to the second-largest broadband pipe in the world, and American Samoa, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia are all undertaking aggressive programs to improve their communications capacity, opening new avenues for investment and growth.

*Infrastructure Development and Improvement. The governments of the insular areas will be seeking to upgrade and possibly privatize large segments of their existing water, power, and transportation infrastructure. This will include growth in the use of new technologies to supply water and power, and innovative financing to better leverage existing assets.

*Contracting opportunities, especially with the growth of the military presence on Guam.

This Conference is the latest in a series of events sponsored by the Department of the Interior aimed at stimulating private sector-led economic development in the U.S.-affiliated insular areas.

An on-line registration form and more information on the conference can be found online at http://www.BusinessOpportunitiesConference.com

The Department has hosted two previous Conferences and led three Business Opportunities Missions to five island jurisdictions over the last three years. These events have included a diverse sampling of the American business community, from industry leaders like Fluor, Microsoft and Starwood Hotels to smaller, specialized technology and tourism firms.

Both the Missions and the Conferences are designed to put business opportunities in the insular areas

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