26 Sep 2003

Samoa proposes Apia as hub port for region

2:19 pm on 26 September 2003

The Samoan government has offered Apia as a hub port for the South Pacific region as a cost-saving measure for fragile island state economies.

Samoa's Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Meteorology, Tuisugaletaua Sofara, proposed the concept at the 29th Conference of Pacific Ports in Apia.

Tuisugaletaua says creating a hub port would increase volumes of trade and the competitiveness of island economies with the rest of the world.

The idea would see smaller vessels from other Pacific countries picking up cargo from Apia, and transporting it to their home ports, speeding up the whole process.

Tuisugaletaua has offered Apia as the hub port, with the extension of its main wharf due for completion next month.

Response has been positive, with the general manager of Transam Samoa Ltd, Graham Hogarth, saying the idea would reduce ship congestion, resulting in lower costs for shipping services.

And Viliame Leqa, of Fiji's Ports Terminal Ltd, says it will improve productivity and benefit Samoa immensely.