22 Jul 2004

Samoan prime minister says WTO membership will mean good quality, cheaper goods

8:13 pm on 22 July 2004

The Samoan Prime Minister says he has long warned local manufacturers to make good quality products, to counter overseas competition once Samoa enters the World Trade Organisation.

Tuilaepa Sailele was responding to opposition urgings for the government not to rush to join the WTO until all the implications for local business and land ownership are considered.

Samoa is scheduled to join the WTO next year.

The Opposition Samoa Democratic United Party believes the membership will mean poor quality goods will be dumped in Samoa.

The SDUP also says rich overseas companies will overwhelm local business and buy up limited freehold land.

Its leader, Le Mamea Ropati, says foreign companies have started to enter the country and he says prices of freehold land will skyrocket.

But the prime minister says the opposition's concerns are not new to the government, but good quality goods at cheaper prices will be the result of WTO membership.