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Guam will host regional trade agreement meeting

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It's making headlines all across the globe called the Transpacific Partnership. It's free trade agreement that's currently under negotiation between 12 different countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.   

Negotiations are expected to continue in the Philippines in two weeks, but KUAM News has learned that before that will happen a meeting will actually be held first on Guam. It's considered a key component in opening up the economies and opportunities for freer trade and commercial activity between the nations and next week Guam will play a key role in meetings related to the TPP. Governor Eddie Calvo says it's time to roll out the welcome mat as next week a historic meeting will take place on island.

"So with that, that is something historic," said Calvo, adding, "and, of course, for those detractors it will be infamous - so whether its historic or infamous, negations for this union, will occur in the island of Guam so I think that in itself is something that shows our significance of our island."

Senator Frank Blas, Jr. has closely been monitoring negotiations with the TPP. "Next week there's going to be an important component piece of this negotiations that are going to occurring here on Guam and despite Guam not being mentioned in the definition of the united states in this draft agreement. This gives us an opportunity to showcase that Guam is a perfect place to be able for businesses from the United States who want to do business in Asia and Asian businesses who want to do business in the United States," he said.

Blas says this will be the perfect opportunity to show Guam as an ideal location to conduct business adding the island will be seen as a launch point for businesses who want to take advantage of this free trade agreement. "We've got some intellectual resources that can help businesses on both sides of the water thrive - businesses on Guam know the Asian culture, and they know the western culture, so you have the best of both worlds with individual who are here," he said.

And while most of these meetings will be behind closed doors, Blas says it is incumbent of island leaders to seize any opportunity they can get. Governor Calvo meanwhile says there is a veil of secrecy as information related to the TPP is done under the watchful eye of those who are responsible for the treaty and negotiations. "So when you're talking about something so big and how it's being treated in the news in other parts of the world, Guam is not unique that we are the ones that do not have enough information because of this veil of secrecy it's occurring worldwide - it's a very historic event and I do want to know more about it and how it relates to Guam," he said.

Governor Calvo says his administration will most likely provide some form of assistance in terms of security as high powered people will be on island. The meeting will take place on Guam between May 15 to the 27th.

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