Following the closure of the majority of American Samoa’s tuna canneries and damage from a 2009 tsunami, American Samoa began the process of developing a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) to focus the Territory’s economic recovery efforts. Funded by a grant from EDA, the CEDS process has allowed public and private sector leaders to assess the island’s challenges, assets, and opportunities to develop a road map of actions that will lead to long-term sustainable growth. When fully implemented, the CEDS will help the Territory become more resilient to natural and economic disasters.
The White House and the Office of Insular Affairs at the Department of Interior, through the Interagency Group an Insular Affairs, are utilizing the CEDS process and its resulting strategies as a valuable tool in facilitating coordinated federal support for American Samoa and the other small U.S. Territories. CEDS provide an economic development framework, process, and strategy that supports private capital investment and job creation statewide. The CEDS process will bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic development roadmap to diversify and strengthen the regional economy.