5 Jun 2006

Samoa weighs up possible loss of LCD status

10:40 am on 5 June 2006

The Samoan government is considering the cost of future international borrowing and debt servicing when it moves away from the group of least developed countries in the year 2010.

The Finance Minister, Niko Lee Hang, says the United Nations Committee on Development Policy has made an assessment of Samoa that shows consistently good economic growth and high levels of social and economic development.

He said the decision will have significant implications on the cost of future borrowing and debt servicing in particular.

The minister said the regional agreements of PICTA and PACER governing trading arrangements between member countries of the Pacific and New Zealand and Australia could be affected by the decision.

This could also happen to Samoa's trade partnership with ACP group and the European Union as well as the future of Samoa access to the World Trade Organisation.

He says it will have significant bearing on the country's narrow resources base when the nation complies with all the requirements to support the liberalisation of trade.