5 Jun 2013

Chinese company proposes development of Samoa with high demands

7:40 pm on 5 June 2013

A Chinese company proposing to invest in Samoa has reportedly sent the Government a list of demands that involves 160-year land leases and equal treatment for the proposed 30,000 Chinese workers.

Talamua online says the company visited Savai'i and is looking at building a casino and a water park, and wants the Government to build an airport and a bank, among other requests.

The President of the Samoa Hotels Association Tuala Oli Ah Him says it is up to the Government to respond, but investment is crucial to Samoa, particularly on Savai'i.

"In Savai'i there's plenty of land, so much property, it's just bushland, not being utilised. Better make use of it because in another 100 years it will still be lying there idle doing nothing so might as well make use of it."

Tuala Oli Ah Him says currently there are many tourism workers that travel to the main island of Upolu, and the hour-long ferry ride to Savai'i is also a disincentive for tourists.