26 Feb 2014

Samoa's MENA cites transport issues as reason export orders going to Fiji

11:24 am on 26 February 2014

The Director of Samoa's premier fashion house, MENA Samoa Ltd, Agnes Loheni, has denied claims that a lack of reliable workers has forced her company to send its export orders to Fiji for manufacture.

Confirmation that MENA is moving its export manufacturing to Fiji follows complaints from others in the industry about a lack of skilled workers forcing them to outsource manufacturing.

However, Agnes Loheni says the problem has to do with reliability of shipping services.

She told the Samoa Observer that's she proud of the skill base they have built up in Samoa, and says the labour issues faced in Samoa have not been any more challenging than those faced in New Zealand.

However, Agnes Loheni says supply is an issue, with shipping in raw materials hindered by changing shipping schedules for example.

She says pricing is also affected by the tala, and any drop in value against the New Zealand, US and Australian dollars makes raw materials considerably more expensive.

She says the company can't keep taking losses to its bottom line forever.