Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Governor, Benigno R. Fitial has pitched the CNMI as a prime destination for Chinese tourism, real estate development, agricultural, education and technology investments during the U.S.-China Governors Forum in Beijing.
In response, Yunnan’s acting Gov. Li Jiheng says he has been researching opportunities in the Northern Marianas and plans to form a delegation that will visit the islands for an exploratory mission.
Fitial also pitched the availability of reliable ocean shipping services and the added incentive of ships being exempt from the federal Jones Act, which allows foreign flag vessels to enter CNMI ports which are free of U.S. Customs duties.
And his reminder that the CNMI is the only jurisdiction among the Pacific islands with an approved casino industry was met warmly. “These advantages give rise to the infusion of foreign investments, which in turn, creates more jobs for people, and, above all, spurs much needed economic recovery,” he told Chinese officials and businesspeople.