The Chinese Chamber of Commerce Guam visited Saipan in search of business opportunities last Saturday, initiated by the president of the Guam organization.
The organization participated in a familiarization tour that went through Saipan’s recent investment sites and even a facility tour of the unfinished Imperial Pacific Resort.
Benson Au Yeung, president of the Chinese Chamber Guam, said the visit is a benefit given to members. According to Yeung, CCCG regularly provides its members opportunities to expand their networks.
In this particular instance, Yeung said he “wanted to take it to the next level,” so he reached out to TanHoldings president Jerry Tan and asked if a meeting could be organized.
“All of us do business with other business establishments on Saipan, so I thought rather than call us, I suggested [to our members] that we come here, explore the opportunities and meet some new people,” said Yeung.
Tan gave the CCCG members a rundown of the current status of the CNMI economy and politics and even touched on the tourism industry, the upcoming casino industry, and challenges and opportunities for doing business on Saipan.
Tan described the meeting as “a big turnaround from five to 10 years ago,” when people were leaving the CNMI.
“Now, [people that left] are not only coming back, there are now new investors coming in,” Tan told reporters.
According to Yeung, a few of the CCCG members approached him and told him that there was a desire to open up shop on Saipan in the future.
Yeung said that CCCG has all sorts of different businesses ranging from insurance to restaurants, construction, banks, real estate, developers, and more.
“I believe we can generate some additional business [establishments] and I see new restaurants opening up shop here. I definitely see potential for some of our members.”
Former Guam governor Felix Camacho, who joined the trip, appreciated Tan’s frankness in the presentation since it covered many issues the Guam investors would encounter later.
Camacho understands most of the problems of the CNMI because Guam also has a few issues that could only be solved at the federal level.
“I appreciate the honesty of the challenges that were presented, mostly challenges due to airline regulations, the number of flights coming [into Saipan], and also the challenges that we face as it relates to the federal government,” said Camacho.
Members of local organizations such as Saipan Chamber of Commerce secretary Alex Sablan and Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Chris Concepcion also attended the meetings.