Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo said his administration would push really hard this year for a China visa waiver and a Guam military buildup.
He told members of the Guam Chamber of Commerce that Guam is not in a boom or a bust but rather a period of stability with slight growth and good prospects for future economic growth.
"There's slight growth one one and a half percent I wouldn't call it...well it's not a recession we all want to see more growth but we are in stable waters,” said Calvo. The Governor told the Chamber of Commerce today that although the future may be unpredictable there are some real reasons to be optimistic about Guam's economy like the military buildup and the China visa waiver. "We're gonna have about $50 million dollars in defense department money to upgrade the port so although the marines haven't come in yet buildup dollars are already being spent," said Calvo. The governor pointed out that even the construction on the Agana bridge and Route 11 is coming from Department of Defense dollars and not Federal Highway funds.
However while Guam waits on the military buildup the governor says he will push GovGuam to become more efficient. "As far as I'm concerned the general fund must be protected and by the way that doesn't mean by raising taxes that means by looking at ways to be more efficient in collections our receivables and again building a more efficient government,” said Calvo.
The governor will go to Washington D.C. next month where he will increase his lobbying efforts for the military buildup and the China visa waiver. "We're gonna push we're gonna push hard we're gonna push hard on the military buildup we're gonna push hard on the China visa waiver,” said Calvo adding
"You have some of these Navy ships that will be going to Subic bay and Singapore and in fact some of them will be going to Vietnam this upcoming year for repair work. Some of those places have Chinese nationals working in the docks yet they're not here working in our Guam shipyard. So is there a security issue?"
Governor Calvo says that during his last two years in office he's been getting the message across that Guam is America in Asia and is not only strategic for military purposes but for economic purposes as well.