Guam of­fers busi­ness ex­pan­sion op­por­tu­ni­ties

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

TOWNSVILLE busi­ness peo­ple look­ing to ex­pand their hori­zons and their busi­ness are be­ing in­vited to join a trade mis­sion to Guam.

A Cairns-based group which aims to grow Aus­tralia’s trop­i­cal econ­omy, TropLinks, is plan­ning a mis­sion to the Mi­crone­sian United States ter­ri­tory from April 11 to 14 and held semi nars i n Townsville and Cairns this week to en­cour­age com­pa­nies to par­tic­i­pate.

TropLinks CEO Graham Poon, a for­mer Townsville busi­ness­man who worked with tourism en­tre­pre­neur the late Doug Tarca, said the ter­ri­tory was fac­ing an un­prece­dented growth phase over the next five to seven years be­cause of the re­lo­ca­tion of ma­jor mil­i­tary as­sets from Ok­i­nawa, Ja­pan, to Guam.

He said the is­land’s pop­u­la­tion was pre­dicted to grow from 175,000 to 200,000 with to­tal in­vest­ment in mil­i­tary and civil­ian in­fra­struc­ture of around $ 20 bil­lion.

Mr Poon said the group saw the main op­por­tu­ni­ties for North Queens­land busi­nesses in sub-con­tract­ing to ma­jor US c o mpa­nies o r work­ing with Guam busi­nesses to sup­ply goods and ser­vices. So far com­pa­nies from bank­ing, to en­ergy and ice-creams had been suc­cess­ful in en­ter­ing the Guam mar­ket.

The Aus­tralia and New Zealand Bank­ing Group has en­tered the ter­ri­tory about two years ago by buy­ing a lo­cal fi­nancier Cit­i­zen Se­cu­rity for around $ 30 mil­lion.

A premier Aus­tralian ice­cream man­u­fac­turer had re­cently en­tered the mar­ket, sell­ing more than $ 1 mil­lion worth of ice-creams in Mi­crone­sia, mostly in Guam, in the first year.

Other com­pa­nies were look­ing at pro­vid­ing re­new­able en­ergy and waste wa­ter sys­tems.

‘‘ The re­quire­ments for power and waste­water is huge,’’ Mr Poon said.

‘‘ All of the op­por­tu­ni­ties are not just in mil­i­tary (re­quire­ments). There is need for civil­ian in­fra­struc­ture up­grad­ing roads and power sys­tems.’’

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