31 Jan 2005

American Samoa village bans Asian-owned businesses

6:47 am on 31 January 2005

The village council of Alao in American Samoa has moved to ban Asian-owned businesses within its boundaries.

The community's ranking chief, Sogimaletavai Leo, says the council wants to protect small Samoan-owned shops.

Sogimaletavai says there's an increasing number of Asian-owned stores popping up in neighbouring villages on the eastern end of Tutuila.

Our correspondent Monica Miller says local leaders believed they had to make a stand:

"They really believe that if they do not act, the Koreans, and Chinese and Orientals are going to take over these stores that had been operated for generations by Samoans, and they don't believe that Samoans are on an equal footing as far as finances; their business acumen is on a higher level, and they won't be able to compete fairly with the Asian-owned businesses."