The Marshall Islands lie in the southeastern part of Micronesia, about 1,860 miles east of Guam and 2,500 miles west of Hawaii. Comprised of more than 1,200 islands and islets in two parallel chains of coral atolls, the Marshall Islands extend some 800 miles northwest to southeast.
Formerly a district of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Marshalls were administered by the United States on behalf of the United Nations until it became a sovereign country in 1979. It entered into a Compact of Free Association with the United States in 1986 and renegotiated a new financial package in 2003 which will be effective until 2023.
Kwajalein Atoll is home to the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, a U.S. Army base spread across eight islands of the atoll and under the command of U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll.
As of 2016, the Marshall Islands Office of Commerce & Investment has sought to develop the economy through such projects as reforming investment policies to align with the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, developing the tuna industry and proactive public relations efforts to attract investors.