In the history of Guam Business Magazine — approaching 40 years — I don’t think we have ever had such an illustrious group on our cover.
We have had impressive groups of businesspeople, and President Tommy Remengesau has been featured with a group of his countrymen (and a countrywoman) at least three times throughout his terms in office.
But these are extraordinary times and warrant an extraordinary cover.
My warm thanks go to President Remengesau, President David Panuelo, Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero and Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres for setting aside time to answer our questions. The questions were the same to each of them; the situations of these leaders couldn’t be more varied.
But between them, they are responsible for the wellbeing of close to half a million people. Never has that been truer than in the time of COVID-19.
You can read exactly how these four island leaders are dealing with an impossible reality, and how they hope history remembers them.
For those of you reading the magazine in the U.S. mainland, our fatalities in Micronesia remain under double-digits, and the virus is only confirmed in two of our islands.
Our region, however, which relies mostly on tourism and injection of funds from relationships with the U.S. and other countries, has seen its economies crash just as badly as yours.
We also interviewed executives in the petroleum industry for this issue, who shared their thoughts on a business that has been turned upside down with certainties becoming uncertain.
That’s true of so many of all our businesses, some of which will not survive this pandemic.
Whether doors are closed because owners lose their shirts or their heart — or both in the coming weeks and months, only those who adapt to what the future brings will make it.
As our economic outlook in this issue shares, “Economic activity in the Pacific subregion is expected to contract by 0.3% in 2020 before recovering to 2.7% in 2021.”
It’s hard to read that sentence, although each of us is living part of that reality.
I am encouraged by conversations with two restaurant owners in Guam — surely an industry that has had to survive on very little and has seen executives serving in the front line at facilities where ambiance and great table service now count for nothing.
Each of them said, in so many words, that they had learned a lot. They were already planning for a leaner and meaner future.
So, it’s a somber issue of Guam Business Magazine, but I hope no less interesting for all that.