Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) a public corporation (12GCA Chapter 50), was created by enabling legislation on August 21, 1965, under Public Law 8-80 and amended by Public Law 26-76 to include Department of Commerce. Under PL8-80, the Authority has been given rather broad responsibility to the centralized direction, control and supervision of an integrated plan for the economic development of Guam. GEDA’s mission is to develop a sound and sustainable economy through innovative programs that preserve and promote local culture, economic opportunities and quality of Life.
The Guam Economic Development Authority is a dominant force behind the island’s economic expansion.
GEDA Over Time
During a trip to U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico, Congressman Frank Perez is inspired by the idea of outside industrial development and diversified agriculture in Guam. However, his ideas were sidetracked for several years.
The First Guam Legislature enacts Public Law 88, creating the Guam finance and Development Administration.
In January Frank Perez and a group of his colleagues introduce a bill to create an economic development authority in Guam, but it is vetoed by Gov. Manuel F.L. Guerrero. *On Aug. 21, he Eighth Guam Legislatures passes Bill 167, which becomes Public Law 8-80, repealing the Guam finance and Development Administration and creating the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) as a public corporation.
* The Eighth Guam Legislature establishes GEDA’s Qualifying Certificate to recruit investment on Guam that would create jobs and stimulate revenues.
In April the Department of Land Management transfers about 40 acres of GovGuam land in Tamuning and Harmon to GEDA for planned light industrial development. They would eventually become the E.T. Calvo Memorial Park and the Harmon Industrial Park.
The U.S congress passes a bill, spearheaded by GEDA, called the Guam Development Fund Act, which grants Guam through GEDA, $5 million to promote the development of private enterprise and industry through loans and loan guarantees.
Revisions of Public Law 8-80 were approved, causing major changes in the role of GEDA, particularly in the areas of qualifying certificates to watch manufacturers, tax abatements, loan guarantees and the agricultural development fund.
Opposition was raised to the commercial uses of the Tamuning industrial part when some private enterprises claimed GEDA would be unfairly competing with the private sector. The controversy came to a head with the introduction of Bill 482 in the 10th Guam Legislature, which proposed to restrict the power of GEDA to lease commercial or industrial land when privately owned land is available. GEDA opposed the bill and it was not passed.
In November a series of public hearings on GEDA operations results in the temporary halt of the Qualifying Certificate Program.
In November Overseas Bechtel Inc. prepares a study for GEDA that outlines the major steps required to prepare an economic development plan for the island.
GEDA establishes liaison offices in Hong Kong and Taiwan to promote Guam’s economic potential.
GEDA transfers jurisdiction of the Cabras Island Industrial Park to the Port Authority of Guam. GEDA maintains an interest in the part until 2009. *GEDA relocates its offices from the California First Bank Building (now Union Bank of California) to the ITC Building in Tamuning.
*GEDA coordinates a Guam Economic Mission headed by Gov. Joseph F. Ada to Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
*In conjunction with the Guam Environmental Protection Agency, GEDA begins developing solid waste resources recovery plan.
*Visitor arrivals were at a record high. In a time of economic abundance, the administration saw fit to place a temporary moratorium on the Qualifying Certificate Program. In January GEDA’s board of directors, at the request of the governor imposed a moratorium on the issuance of the qualifying certificates to hotels.
* In March Public Law 20-178 opened the qualifying certificate program to accommodate all locally owned and operated businesses in Guam, and it placed a cap on the amount of income tax rebates a beneficiary could receive.
*Also in March, GEDA resumes lending programs after a three-year moratorium.
*Also in March, Public Law20-149 appropriates $100,000 to GEDA for the establishment of a revolving fund for the purpose of promoting, preserving and developing Chamorro music. Under the Chamorro Heritage Fund, GEDA has helped 11 local artists.
*GEDA’s Harmon Industrial Park reaches 100 percent occupancy.
*In May Public Law 20-163 establishes the Territorial Aquarium Advisory Council, of which GEDA is a part, for the purpose of providing a plan for the establishment of a public aquarium in Guam.
Military cutbacks result in a 40 percent reduction in federal government related employment as Base realignment and Closure Commission recommendations go into effect. GEDA become the local redevelopment authority and began multiple initiatives to retain and create jobs and mitigate the effects of downsizing.
*Public Law 23-109 dubbed the “Captive Insurance Law” authorizes 100 percent abatements and/or rebates of taxes to insurance underwriters that incorporate in Guam. The first captive was established on June 18, 1999.
In September the Guam Institute of Aviation Technology opens its doors on leased property at Tiyan with help from GEDA, which bought $200,000 in preferred stock. More than 100 students graduated from the program before the economic crisis in Asia caused a drop in enrollment and eventual closing.
*In December Public Law 23-135 creates additional tax incentives to develop new and/or additional hotels and tourist facilities, as well as to provide a “jump start” and an incentive toward the development of affordable homes. As a result seven hotels and tourist facilities have been established and 71 affordable homes have been built.
In September Vision 2001 evolves from the Third Annual Economic Conference and becomes a guidepost for Guam’s development.
*In October Public Law 24-104 makes technical amendments to the Captive Insurance Law, creating an environment conductive to captive companies and making it easier for captives to be formed in Guam.
*Also in October Public Law 24-103 allows the economic incentives of GEDA to be offered to business operating under the limited liability partnership and limited liability company business structures.
In March Public Law 24-168 authorizes GEDA to offer tax incentives under its qualifying certificates program to financial lending institutions that participate in extending loans for the construction of safe and affordable homes.
*In June GEDA organized village-to-village outreach programs to inform each community about its local business assistance programs. From logistics to one-to-one consultations the GEDA staff presented its programs in each village. Special promotional emphasis was placed on the new Micro-Enterprise Development Loan. A 19-week ad campaign in the Pacific Daily News highlighting GEDA success stories was the primary vehicle for marketing the program.
*In October Public Law 24-295 provides economic incentives in the form of income tax rebates for companies that win bids for contracts on service-oriented jobs operated by the U.S. military.
*GEDA registers its Web Site, www.investguam.com . In the following year, GEDA would respond to 520 investor inquiries, 66 of those via the Web Site.
*GEDA grants tax rebates to the first Guam-based trust. A total of 73 trusts were established in 2000.
*In September GEDA receives title to about 248 acres bordering the airport at Tiyan. GEDA plans to attract companies that would support the airport’s expansion plans and complement the neighboring businesses in the Barrigada area. Some of these ideas include a government center, bonded warehouses, a film-recording studio and a foreign sales trade zone.
In January Public Law 25-177 extends the benefits of qualifying certificates to the telecommunications and e-commerce industries, or “global Internet infrastructure services company(ies) providing Internet connectivity and co-location facilities and its/their tenant-sellers in the sales of goods, services and information over the Internet…”.
In August 2003 the Camacho Administration released its collaborative private – public sector “Guam Economic Recovery Plan - Ten Strategic Initiatives to Stabilize and Grow Guam’s Economy” is unveiled.
Prompted by the Governor’s Economic Recovery Plan; particularly the industry diversification component, GEDA received and administered a $598,000 technical assistance grant from OIA which funded the preparation of several feasibility reports on the potential of attracting various new industries to Guam.
May 2004 saw the culmination of a 2-year effort by GEDA to create Public Law 27-81 the “Guam International Arbitration Law” based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), it is intended to govern all international commercial arbitrations that are held in Guam.
GEDA organized the 2005 Guam Economic Development Conference -“Realigning in a Resurging Economy: Resolve, Recover, Results,” was held on March 30-31, 2005
GEDA was able to obtain for the Guam Memorial Hospital a $500,000 US Dept. Health Human Services grant to initiate a Medical Residency Program at the hospital.
September 2005 released the Guam Regional Center Implementation Plan. A plan for the development of an Asia-Pacific Regional Distribution Center (RDC) in Guam which may serve as the driver for the creation of a third major industry in Guam – a transportation sector to complement Guam’s existing tourism and military sectors. A Task Force to be coordinated by GEDA was formed under Executive Order 2005-37 November 14, 2005 to carry out the action items identified in the plan.
GEDA developed a conceptual plan for “KOTTURA” a culturally based economic zone that will be a core element in (1.) The Revitalization of Guam’s capital city of Hagatna, (2.) The Preservation of the Chamorro Culture and Arts and (3.) The Diversification and Expansion of Guam’s Revenue base utilizing existing opportunities.
GEDA was instrumental in the development of a plan to build new schools under a $60.0 million municipal leaseback program for the construction of up to 4 new schools and the conversion of an elementary school to a middle school
December 2005 GEDA assisted in the inaugural bond issuance of GWA to fund capital improvements. The result of the strong management team of Consolidated Committee on Utilities (CCU) and GWA, coupled with the efforts of the finance team led by GEDA, secured a historically low borrowing cost of 5.68%.
GEDA quarterly newsletter converted to an on-line News bulletin. 1st issue February 2006.
GEDA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Guam Ancestral Land Use Commission that allows GEDA to manage over 600 acres of Trust Lands at the Harmon Cliff line, Commissary Junction and Polaris Point.
GEDA secured over $200K in federal grants to support various economic development initiatives, job skills assessment for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), environmental assessments at industrial parks, and creation of a new industrial park and is closing out over $1 Million in previously awarded grants.
GIAA and GEDA, with the assistance of our financial advisors, prepared a comprehensive credit presentation on the GIAA with a goal of upgrading the GIAA’s bond rating. Rating Agency meetings were held in San Francisco on September 19-22, 2006. On October 16, 2006, Standard & Poor's raised the agency's rating from BBB- to BBB with a stable outlook.
GEDA assisted the Judicial Council of Guam, in financing up to $11,000,000 for the design, construction and purchase of collateral equipment for a forensic crime lab, to be constructed on the premises of the Guam Community College in Mangilao, and to refinance their existing note held by the USDA. (September 2006)
David D.L. Flores
David D.L. Flores
Charles P. Crisostomo
Glenn Leon Guerrero
Edward G. Untalan
Gerald S.A. Perez
Andreas J. Jordanou
2007 - 2010
Anthony C. Blaz
Karl A. Pangelinan