He told the chamber meeting yesterday at the Pacific Islands Club that “there is no silver bullet out there that will magically transform our economy.”

Brennan noted the increasing Commonwealth Utilities Corp. rates, the scheduled minimum wage hike, the impending expenses for CW petitions, a diminishing schedule of  incoming and outgoing flights, the closure of businesses and the exodus of citizens and workers.

He said the CNMI needs to chart a direction and set long range goals aimed at sustainable development.

The CNMI, he added, needs “something that will benefit the majority of the population and not just a select few, something that is worthy of the respect of our children and grandchildren.”

“I honestly believe recovery will only come in the form of a concerted effort by the general population, the workforce, the business community and the government. We live on one of the most amazing places on earth. What are we going to do to maintain the pristine nature of our land, beaches, reefs and surrounding oceans while building a sustainable economic foundation and maintaining the cultural heritage of the islands?” Brennan said.

He believes the CNMI needs agriculture. “The idea is not new because it has been repeatedly discussed at almost economic conference held for the past 25 years,” he added.

“We should be able to produce enough food to feed ourselves and visiting tourists. If we get good enough food at food production, whether it be agriculture, livestock or aquaculture, we may be able to export.”

Jobs

Triple J Enterprises CEO and chairman Bob Jones, who also spoke during the chamber meeting, said  he believes the economy will rise again.

“We should look for ways to provide jobs for the people. There are lots of opportunities we can look at in the CNMI like farming, fishing, maintenance and other services. We have to look into these possibilities instead of criticizing the federal government, the administration, or anybody we want to criticize —  the bottom-line is it’s not going to provide jobs for the people,” Jones said.

“Everybody blames the Legislature and the governor who has the toughest job right now but the challenge...is in creating jobs for the people,” he added.{jcomments off}

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