2030 Blueprint Hawaii A More Economically Competitive Hawaii
Prepared by Economic Leadership for Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, January, 2024
The past two decades have brought rapid change and a host of economic headwinds for Hawaii. The financial crisis and great recession of 2007-2009, the global COVID pandemic, and the Maui wildfires have each brought additional challenges for the state’s economy. Today the state’s post-pandemic job recovery is the slowest in the nation. Outmigration and “brain drain” remain major concerns. The cost of living and the cost of doing business are among the highest in the country. Emerging trends in the tourism, defense, and agriculture sectors are creating opportunities, but also threats.
Over the past 20 years there has been a consistent call for a more diversified economy, pathways for young residents to better train for local jobs, more affordable housing, and increased local wealth-building. When local stakeholders were recently asked, they described the Hawaii economy as “stagnant, fragile, and struggling.” The leadership of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii believes that continued economic stagnation is not inevitable and that the state’s business climate, workforce, and entrepreneurial ecosystems can be improved. Their goal is to make Hawaii more competitive, while protecting the environment and culture that Hawaii residents cherish. …
Over the years there have been many reports, plans, and efforts to improve Hawaii’s economy, with mixed success. The robust and well done 2023 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) provides an economic vision: “Our unique island state innovates and diversifies to ensure shared economic prosperity and navigate toward an equitable, resilient, and sustainable future.”
The six CEDS goals are to:
▪ Strengthen economic industry clusters.
▪ Cultivate and grow emerging sectors.
▪ Develop workforce and human capital.
▪ Support a strong business climate and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
▪ Build and update economic foundations.
▪ Build a resilient economy.
These building blocks form the foundation of other states’ strategies and echo goals common in many previous Hawaii reports. Other recent reports used common language and also emphasized sustainability, clean energy, the ongoing relationship with the military, tourism management, and cultural prioritization. …
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Business Report: 2022 Census data reveals 40% of Hawaii households burdened by rent, mortgages (hawaiinewsnow.com)
Hawaii Chamber of Commerce creates “2030 Blueprint” to improve state’s economy (hawaiinewsnow.com)