11 May 2010

Marshalls call for jobs boost as US cuts loom

3:12 pm on 11 May 2010

The Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce says the Government needs to boost employment and the private sector in preparation for the end of large-scale United States grants.

Grants from the U.S. into the country's Trust fund are being wound down and are due to end by 2023.

The Chamber's president, Stephen Philip, says he's concerned at long term high unemployment and the numbers migrating to the US mainland for work.

But he says more employment opportunities, better infrastructure and a reformed tax system will help overcome this.

"We definitely need small business to open up that will hire more local people to join in in the private sector. At the same time we look into how the government can help the private sector to develop areas that's available for general funding to create jobs as far as local farming and all these other areas that can be considered as a job opportunity."

Stephen Philip says the biggest employer is the Marshalls' government but he says more jobs could be created in tourism and the fishing industry.