1 Oct 2008

American Samoa population report stresses importance of canneries

10:39 am on 1 October 2008

The American Samoa Governor's working group on population pressure is reviewing the recommendations and strategies from the first summit on population held last week.

One of the issues that participants looked at was the impact of the canneries on inward migration.

Director of Commerce, Faleseu Eliu Paopao, was asked if the government intended to stop the hiring of guest workers and require the canneries to make do with the available local workforce.

The DOC director said at this stage when the canneries are the only industry generating jobs, the government cannot impose any labour limitations on Star Kist Samoa and Samoa Packing.

He said unless the territory expands its economic base, and attracts new industries, the labour needs of the canneries cannot be ignored.

Attorney General Fepuleai Afa Ripley supported that view saying the canneries provide sustenance for many businesses.

He said until the territory can generate new economic ventures such as the fiber optic cable or tourism industry, it has no choice but to provide what the canneries need .