GARAPAN Saipan — According to a visiting member of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Island Fellows Program the Northern Mariana Islands has an obsolete business climate that has denied the island’s vital opportunities for growth.

“ The CNMI’s paradigm is still locked in the 1980s. This does not allow it to be competitive in the open market ” David D. Shreni a student at the Illinois-based Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Shreni told the Journal this paradigm has “arrested growth and development” in the NMI. He also said that it is “very easy to start a small business but very hard to start a big business in the CNMI.” He added “And it is very difficult for small and big
businesses to grow.”

Shreni along with Claudio A. Bartolucci a student at George Washington University were in the NMI to conduct a study about the islands’ businesses and economy under the Interior’s Island Fellows Program. The program aims to provide participants with an insight of the U.S. territories economy.

Shreni said they would be preparing a report to the Interior about their 20-day visit to the NMI. They arrived on June 23 and started conducting interviews with various business owners.

Shreni indicated that among factors contributing to the paradigm are government rules and regulations stifling business opportunities.

The report is meant to help policy planners at the Interior to formulate plans for the NMI. The chamber meeting was held at Fiesta Resort & Spa on July 5. MBJ