U.S. Pacific Territories
In 1997, the garment industry in the Northern Marina Islands was at its peak, making up 86% of the local economy, and exporting $1.1 billion in goods. Yet just ten years later, with regulatory changes and foreign competition, the once thriving industry was on the verge of collapse.
Without the garment industry, the Commonwealth’s economy became critically dependent on tourism. However, a critical one-million-gallon water storage tank was starting to fail. Saipan’s Garapan tourist area needs pressurized, 24-hour, potable water service for area hotels, restaurants and shops to keep its market share as a final destination tropical resort.
A $1.5 million EDA grant is helping construct a replacement water tank that will prevent water supply disruptions to local small businesses and resort hotels that serve area tourists. The project also installs a security fence, new piping and valves, and approximately 6,850 square feet of pavement around the tank. The project, which was substantially complete in 2015, is allowing Saipan’s tourism industry to grow, and provide confidence for businesses to make long-term investments in Saipan.