It seems that the Northern Mariana Islands still have opportunities and appeal for investors.

As the Journal’s lead story shows real interest in Saipan as a tourist destination for locations in Asia and the Pacific rim has brought a management team from the British Virgin Islands who have been seeking feedback from tour operators rather than investment dollars.

Similarly Jojo Dass reports from the Journal’s Saipan office that two further investors have arrived in the Commonwealth — one willing to review setting up a financing business to the tune of $2 million and the other an Orlando Fla.-based company which has signified plans to consider the Northern Mariana Island as a site for business service operations.

Meanwhile the incoming gubernatorial team of House Speaker Benigno Fitial and Vice Speaker Timothy Villagomez have hit the ground running with a December itinerary that took them on a trip to Japan and Hong Kong in earnest search of potential investors.

Charles Reyes spokesman for the speaker told the Journal "The main priority of Gov.-elect Fitial is to secure new businesses and new investments for the CNMI economy.

“This includes Asian as well as American investments."

How the new team will pursue federal revision of Headnote 3(a) to potentially benefit the garment industry will no doubt be confirmed when after the new team takes office in January.

Other missions the two will reportedly pursue in search of outside investment may be several although Journal sources expect that the two will visit the Philippines.

Jun Mokudai chairman of Northwest Japan gave a pointed speech to the Marianas Visitors Authority and its members on the potential of the Northern Mariana Islands as a destination for retiring Japanese senior citizens and baby-boomers. Mokudai spoke at length on the attractions of the Japan market for his country’s tourists a welcome follow-up to the withdrawal from the market of Japan Airlines.

All this bodes well for the future of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The next few months will be a time of change with a new administration appointing its representatives and cabinet members. New relationships and understandings will need to be forged with civic and business community leaders and effective methods of reaching common goals will need to be determined.

But this paper looks forward to reporting on future investors in the Northern Mariana Islands as they tell us their plans and intentions.