Saipan Chamber’s general meeting highlights GCEA accomplishments


The Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers and its accomplishments in 2021 took center stage yesterday at the general membership meeting of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, with GCEA co-chair Jerry Tan sharing a vision of transforming the Marianas into a world-class destination within a decade.

Tan, who is president of TanHoldings Corp. and co-chairs the GCEA with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who was also at the meeting, said that making the vision a reality is a long-term plan that requires thoughtful visioning and careful planning. It requires commitment, cooperation, and support from everyone in the Marianas, he added.

“…GCEA’s vision to build the Marianas to become a world-class destination [is] not only for our visitors but most especially for everyone who calls the islands home. Our goal is to achieve this together within the next 10 years. …It won’t happen overnight, but to get there, we have to achieve milestone after milestone toward this goal, and we believe that together, we can!” he said.

Tan presented to the crowd a video that highlights the GCEA’s 2021 report booklet, covering the council’s first full year of operations in 2021. “When we first formed the council almost two years ago now…at the beginning of the pandemic, we really don’t know actually where to start. …And almost two years later, we still have a lot of uncertainty. But one thing from the video that we see, and most of us at the council are from the private sector, we really have to come together as a community. We can sit down and complain every day all we want. But, at the end of the day, we need to work with the government,” said Tan after the video presentation. 

The series of recommendations by the GCEA last year included the creation of the Commonwealth Economic Development Authority; launching the Marianas Pride Campaign; the Tourism Resumption Investment Program;, encouraging interisland transportation; supporting the commercial fishing industry in the CNMI; and establishing a destination transformation partnership program.

Among the outlook and opportunities presented for the proposed 10-year plan are: alternations to the immigration transition period, vocational training, tourism resumption and infrastructure, re-engaging the Japan market, building of quality and safe road infrastructure that supports a healthy population and economy, complete streets, and bike lanes.

In a later interview with Torres about the revival of the Japan market, he said, “We want to focus on bringing back the Japanese market and are communicating with the MVA Japan on the opportunity to start that dialogue again.”

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at

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