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 Hawaii Travel Guide by Kathie Fry

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Maui Means Business

The Hawaiian island named for Maui, Superman of Polynesian mythology, is home to a $19.5 million "supercomputer," now making the island a major center for international business, technology, research and communication. In addition, the Maui county government has not only rolled out the red carpet for new businesses but streamlined procedures and adopted innovative business support programs.

In 1993, the "supercomputer," called a massively parallel processor (MPP), one of only two dozen in the United States, began operations on Maui. It is part of the Image Information Center associated with the Maui Research and Technology Park, and positions the island as an image processing center of international significance.

The state-of-the-art computer with its massive parallel processing capabilities, has the capacity to do the work of 2,000 computers simultaneously, and is capable of five trillion calculations per second. Uses for the computer range from medical research and space exploration technology to film animation. It is expected that the supercomputer will be a magnet drawing to Maui the kind of businesses that provide clean industry and well-paying employment without significant population growth.

The 330-acre Maui Research and Technology Park is sweetening the pot with innovative business incentives such as its "business incubator," which will provide services to new business ventures, and to established businesses who want to move to Maui or open satellite offices on the island. Phase-in services include low rent, office support programs, accounting and consulting services, leading edge data and telecommunications capabilities, access to low-interest loans, and a marketing umbrella.

Prospective entrepreneurs can be walked through the process of permits and applications, which formerly took up to seven years, in less than thirty days. It's all part of a program to diversify Maui's economic base which has been reliant on tourism and plantation agriculture.

Businesses starting up on Maui or moving to the island will find a multi-cultural business climate, and a unique location that provides a bridge to the burgeoning markets of the Pacific Basin and Asia. Foreign investors continue to exhibit a strong interest in Hawaii's businesses.

Employers will find a labor force that is intensely loyal to their home island and, therefore has been primarily overeducated and underemployed.

Maui has an active Chamber of Commerce, and a "Made in Maui" association committed to marketing and promoting products produced on the island. Members include a perfume company, toy manufacturer, and an island vineyard acclaimed for its fine brut champagne The island has a deep-water harbor, major airport and superior telecommunication systems.

The bonus enjoyed by businesses moving to Maui is an unhurried lifestyle in the best climate in the world, amidst a setting of incomparable natural beauty. Maui has sixteen golf courses, many fine restaurants, and a surprising cultural climate with a full symphony orchestra and a $28-million center for culture and the arts that includes theater and exhibition space.

On Maui, doing business is a pleasure.

RESOURCES

Maui Research and Technology Center, 590 Lipoa Parkway, Kihei, Hawaii 96753; 808-875-2320. Contact Jeanne Skog

Business Information Center, Maui Research & Technology Center, 808- 875-2410 Contact Tom Lutgen

Made In Maui Association, 250 Alamaha Street, Kahului, Maui, HI 96732; 808-871-7711 Contact Paula Hegele

Maui Chamber of Commerce, 250 Alamaha, Kahului, Maui, HI 96732; 808-871-7711 Contact Lynn Woods

County of Maui, Office of Economic Development, 200 South High Street Wailuku, Maui, HI 96793; 808-270-7710. Contact Roz Baker

Article Courtesy of the Maui Visitors Bureau

See also:
- More Maui Articles



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