18 Dec 2015

Samoas look at more economic cooperation

2:38 pm on 18 December 2015
Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Pago Pago, American Samoa. Photo: AFP

Economic cooperation between Samoa and American Samoa is the focus of discussions between business and government leaders underway in Pago Pago.

A trade and economic agreement is expected which would be presented at the next leaders' meeting of the two Samoas.

17 chief executives and staff from government and private sector in Samoa are in Pago Pago for the talks.

The Director of Commerce in American Samoa, Keniseli Lafaele, says the private sector has forged forward independent from the government.

He cites examples of Blue Sky extending to Samoa, the Cook Islands and New Zealand and Samoa's Western Union branch opening a business in the territory.

Mr Lafaele says there are plenty of opportunities for mutual benefits.

"Opportunities are there for American Samoa and its development as well as other opportunities that are available in Samoa, especially in market access to the European Union, and of course in American Samoa market access to the United States."

Tha talks come as the Chairman of American Samoa's Chamber of Commerce recently described the territory's economy this year as flat, with only two new investments providing jobs.

David Robinson criticised the territorial government, saying there's been a lot of talk about new investment and opportunites for the territory, but not a lot of results.

Apia CBD the capital of Samoa.

Apia CBD the capital of Samoa. Photo: RNZI/Koroi Hawkins