PBCP was established in 1979 to provide governments, companies, and institutions in Hawai’i with business-related services (financial analysis, management reviews, business plans, etc.). Major funders of PBCP include the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economica Development Administration, U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs and the UH College of Business Administration. The center serves Hawai’i and the other Pacific Basin islands, including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands. PBCP is currently bridging its program to the islands of the South Pacific and beyond.
Our mission is to help indigenous island economies help themselves by adapting the scientific and technical resources of the University of Hawaii to support Pacific island economic, business and community development in a manner that is holistic, responsible and builds local island capacity.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) received its initial grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) in July 1979, to establish a University Center* (for business and economic development serving businesses in the State of Hawaii, the American Affiliated Pacific Islands (AAPI) of Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
In 1986, the Center obtained supplemental funds from EDA for travel, communication, and other direct costs to provide services to the AAPI, with matching funds provided by the island governments.
In the late 1980’s, the United States and the trust territories it administered under the auspices of the United Nations, agreed to establish bi-lateral, independently negotiated agreements (Compacts of Free Association) under which the territories became independent nations, while still retaining close economic and political ties with the United States. As a result, these now independent nations of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau can participate in certain domestic federal programs. In April 1988, the Center initiated projects with the Republic of the Marshall Islands and with the four States of Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae, and Pohnpei that constitutes the FSM. In 1989, the Center began its work in Palau, under a special grant from the US Department of Interior, while negotiations were still underway on the Compact agreement between the United States and Palau.
Each of the American Affiliated States in the Center’s service area is encouraged to provide funds to support the activities of the Center, and to help defray the major cost of travel expenses incurred by the Center staff in visiting and serving clients in their respective jurisdictions.
Since 1988, the Center has worked on more than 1,700 client projects, involving hundreds of students and faculty from the University of Hawaii system. This number does not include the hundreds of individuals who have attended training sessions or requested assistance on a one-time basis.
*The EDA has established University Centers (69 as of 1999) at institutions of higher learning in all 50 states. These Centers use the resources of their respective universities to provide technical assistance to address economic development needs and opportunities in their service areas. Most centers assist non-profit organizations and units of local governments in analyzing and implementing economic development projects and programs. Other centers focus on providing private-sector firms with technology transfer assistance to help create or stabilize job opportunities.