10 Jan 2008

Samoa Commerce body says drive switch plan hits businesses

8:08 am on 10 January 2008

Samoa's Chamber of Commerce says many businesses have already been hard hit by the government's intention to switch from left to right hand drive vehicles.

The Land and Transport Control Board has approved an amendment regulation in order for the public to start importing right hand drive vehicles, from next month.

The amendment needs cabinet approval and endorsement from the Head of State.

Chamber president Klaus Stunzer Junior says the government hasn't given any confirmation or advice yet on how to accommodate the switch, which he says will cost millions.

He says it's not just the automobile and transport industry who are affected - it's everyone.

"The banks are sort of now being very cautious and in fact now I believe they have stopped lending to people wanting to buy a left hand drive vehicle. And its not just the sector, its also individuals who are wanting to buy vehicles who are now holding off. Its also the impact on the companies already affected who have cut back on advertising, donations and support of sporting activities."

The President of Samoa's Chamber of Commerce, Klaus Stunzer Junior.