16 Oct 2014

American Samoa wage hikes no concern for investor

8:19 pm on 16 October 2014

A Philippines company that hopes to set up a food processing plant in American Samoa says it's not deterred by the territory's mandated minimum wage.

The Philippines company, AVM Bernardo Engineering, says the local operation would be a 100-million US dollar investment, which will create about 700 jobs for locals.

It's been difficult in the past for the territory to attract foreign investors because of mandated wage hikes, and minimum wages are high compared to elsewhere in the region.

However, the company's principal owner, Anthony Bernardo, says this is not a problem for the company.

A school of yellow fin tuna encircled by a net

Yellowfin tuna inside a purse seine net Photo: Supplied / SPC

"The competition into the main market, the minimum wage there is much much higher than what you are having here. Second is, the technology is being utilised to be able to cope up with the expectations and the regulations of the law of the island, so that is well respected and that is well known, so it will not be a problem."

Anthony Bernardo says negotiations with the government are moving smoothly and it's hoped the plant can be a reality in the near future.