6 Mar 2003

Guam hoping US decision to send more planes will save the economy

5:47 pm on 6 March 2003

An American military build up on Guam is expected to boost the island's flagging economy.

The military buildup in Guam comes amid the tension between the US and North Korea.

The Pentagon announced earlier this week it was sending 24 bombers to Guam as a prudent measure to bolster US defences and as a deterrent.

Guam's tourism driven economy has been struggling since the 1997 Asian market crash.

The territory's economic decline was further exacerbated by the terrorism attacks on the US in 2001 and then last year it was hit by two major cyclones.

Our correspondent Scott Radway says locals are hoping the military buildup will end the decline.

"Local officials have pushed for military build up for that reason, the economic benefit. With assets such as the bombers come personal that will help boost the economy by the dollars they do spend out in the tourism industry. It has been a tough year on Guam, two typhoons, a budget crisis many are leaving the island simply for work because it's no there on Guam anymore"

Scott Radway.