11 Oct 2004

Samoa's PM backs deputy over place of remittances in country's economy

6:55 am on 11 October 2004

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has defended his deputy from opposition claims that he couldn't grasp the importance of remittances to the local economy.

Tuilaepa Sailele says remittances are sent over from overseas to fund local social obligations and not to boost the country's foreign reserves.

Tuilaepa was speaking in support of acting Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, who said that remittances go directly to families and not to fund government developments.

But the deputy leader of the opposition SDUP party, Asiata Saleimoa Vaai, said without remittances Samoa's economy would stagnate with little in the way of foreign reserves to buy imports.