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DBEDT E-newsletter - February 2024

DBEDT E-newsletter - February 2024

Aloha kākou,

I am humbled by the support received during my recent confirmation hearing by the Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism. The encouragement from other state departments, DBEDT’s core divisions and attached agencies, industry organizations, community leaders, and so many more has been heartening, and I am looking forward to the full Senate floor vote. I am extremely fortunate to work with an outstanding team at DBEDT, comprised of six core divisions and 10 attached agencies, that collectively supports our local communities.

February was another busy month as our department hosted workshops, programs, conferences, and marked milestones. This included the submittal of the 2023 DBEDT annual report to the legislature, commemoration of the Hawai‘i-Ehime Prefecture sister-state reaffirmation, Made in Hawai‘i e-commerce conference, Creative Lab Music Immersive on Hawai‘i Island, publishing of the Hawai‘i Digital Equity Plan, launch of a quarterly e-newsletter from our Research and Economic Analysis Division, and much more.

Mahalo for your continued support and partnership.

Me ke aloha,

James Kunane Tokioka
DBEDT Director

The 2023 DBEDT Annual Report to the Legislature provides a summary of Hawaiʻi's economic climate over the past year, revealing the resilience and innovative spirit of the state amidst challenges like the Maui wildfires. The report highlights the pivotal contributions of the department's core divisions and attached agencies in driving economic growth and recovery. Click the button below to read the full report.


Hawaiʻi – Ehime Prefecture Sister-State Relationship 20th Anniversary

Governor Josh Green, M.D., and Governor Tokihiro Nakamura of Ehime Prefecture reaffirmed the Hawai‘i-Ehime sister-state agreement on Friday, February 9, 2024. The State of Hawai‘i and Ehime Prefecture established their sister-state relationship in 2003 and have enjoyed more than 20 years of mutually rewarding exchanges.

Coordinated by the Business Development and Support division, the signing ceremony also included a gift exchange between the governors.

Read the full news release and see more photos from the event, or click the button below for video clips.

Watch the Sister-State Signing Ceremony

E-Commerce Conference Featuring Amazon and Shopify
Attracts More Than 250 Hawai‘i Manufacturers And Retailers

More than 250 attendees gathered at the Ala Moana Hotel for the first-ever “Made in Hawai‘i Presents: Your Future in E-Commerce” conference by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), on February 21. During various sessions and panels, industry leaders from Amazon and Shopify shared tips and insights on how Hawai‘i manufacturers and retailers can succeed in the e-commerce world.

Participants attended plenary sessions and broke out into smaller discussions tailored to different company levels, ensuring that businesses of all sizes could benefit from expert guidance.

Made in Hawaiʻi E-Commerce Conference Recap

2024 Creative Lab Hawaiʻi Music Immersive

The 2024 Creative Lab Hawaiʻi Music Immersive wrapped up an exciting experience for this year’s mentors and fellows from Feb. 6 – 10 on Hawaiʻi Island. It was incredible to see the collaborations and music that emerged from this talented group over the five days. The 2024 cohort gathered to co-write, compose, and explore the intricacies of sync licensing for music to be placed in film and TV, advertising, and streaming. Over the week, they crafted 20 original songs set to be pitched for use in films and television and synchronized licensing for advertisements.

See More Photos

Final Version of Hawaiʻi Digital Equity Plan Published

The Hawai‘i Broadband and Digital Equity Office (HBDEO) has published the final version of its Hawai‘i Digital Equity Plan. It is now undergoing federal review with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The plan aims to ensure universal access to the internet and address diverse digital needs across our state and provides recommended strategies, objectives, and actions that seek to set a pathway toward a digitally equitable future.

Read the Hawaiʻi Digital Equity Plan

READ's New Quarterly Newsletter

The Research and Economic Analysis Division (READ) has launched a new quarterly newsletter to highlight the division’s various publications, enhancing understanding and fostering informed discussions about Hawaiʻi’s economic future.

From detailed monthly visitor statistics that shape our understanding of the State’s tourism sector to labor and employment trends that inform workforce development, READ’s reports provide in-depth economic insight. The READ team also produces research dashboards and maintains two interactive data warehouses. These reports, statistics, and studies are invaluable to policymakers, businesses, and community leaders, aiding in strategic planning and policy formulation.

READ New Quarterly Newsletter

Many of DBEDT’s attached agencies and related programs have newsletters providing updates and important information. Below are links to the most recent newsletters and upcoming events.

Additional Info

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