Plans to boost Samoan economy underway

By Maiki Sherman

Strengthening the economy in Samoa and the rest of the Pacific islands is crucial to ensuring the livelihood of its people and non-reliance on aid from foreign countries.

Following Samoa's celebrations of its independence yesterday the long term focus is to stand strong within the world economy.    

One of those included in John Key's delegation is Shane Jones, recently appointed economic ambassador to the Pacific Islands. He says, just like Māori, the people here have a uniqueness that will serve them well in the world of business.

According to Shane Jones, “The traditions and beauty of this land may attract the masses of the world here to the Pacific Islands.”

Farming is a traditional work sector in Samoa with over 600 farmers working more than 32,000 hectares. However, more than 70% of food in Samoa's hotels and restaurants are imported from overseas.

The focus of Women in Business is to support the development of farmers to a point where it's their food on those tables.           

Every year, New Zealand gives around $30 million in aid to Samoa. Prime Minister John Key says when the economy is strong enough in Samoa that figure will decrease.  

Prime Minister Tuilaepa is happy about the role taken up by Shane Jones, even if it was a bit late.

As the saying goes “with your basket of food and mine the people will thrive” - something embodied here today in Samoa.