Hawaii State capital, Honolulu
A Hawaiian Councilman is urging the state to imitate Singapore’s tourism model, saying that Hawaii needs to become the transportation, communications, and financial hub of the Pacific. West Oahu Councilman Tom Berg has proposed a series City Council Resolutions, which will help Hawaii work towards this goal. First he wants the state, currently excluded from NAFTA, to become a free trade zone for APEC members. Quoted in the Hawaii Reporter, Berg said; “With APEC coming to Hawaii, now is the time to step up efforts to making Hawaii the centre of a Pacific Rim Free Trade Zone that will exceed the European Common Market and NAFTA.”
Berg also called on the US government to waive visa requirements for Chinese travellers. This, he says, would encourage trade and tourism between the nations as he did in the case of Korea. After introducing a waiver for South Korean nationals, visitor numbers doubled. Berg also wants waivers for Taiwan and the Philippines.