2 Samoas talks deferred next month


Governor Lolo Lutali Moliga and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi

Source: Press Secretary

APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 07 AUGUST 2017: The much anticipated Samoa Talks this week has been postponed to next month.

American Samoa Governor Lolo Lutali Moliga declined to comment on issues discussed with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi in a brief exchange between the two leaders this afternoon.

And out of respect for his American Samoa counterpart, Prime Minister Tuilaepa also declined to reveal details of their closed door meeting, except to say that they have agreed to proceed with the 2 Samoa talks in Apia in early October.

“After the talks in Apia all will be revealed,” he said.

Among the long outstanding issues that are expected to be addressed in the 2 Samoa talks includes Trade and Economic Integration, Agriculture, Immigration, Health, Education, Transport, Telecommunications, and Tourism.

In terms of exports, the Agricultural Sector remains optimistic that their American Samoa counterparts will assist with a request from Apia to the United States Department of Agriculture to certify the two mobile abattoirs and the soon to be built permanent and Central Abattoir that will open up the lucrative meat export markets to the United States via American Samoa.

Then there is the taro ban imposed by the territory on taro exports although Samoa officials have furnished the clearance from lab tests in Germany clearing local taro from any threatening disease.

And the Tui-Samoa fiber optic cable that Prime Minister Tuilaepa is hoping for the territorial government to come to the negotiating table and become part of the Tui-Samoa family which now includes neighboring Pacific Island countries.

The target is for improvement on telecommunications connectivity at affordable rates for residents of the 2-Samoas.

Immigration issues include the current reciprocal permit regime between the two countries is expected to be revisited during the talks in the bid to minimize the red tape in processing entry permits.

And the long awaited trade agreement that would be mutually beneficial to Samoa and American Samoa.

The talks is geared at providing focus areas that include the identification of improvements to the immigration, customs, taxes, business creation, and foreign investment rules of the countries that would benefit economic integration.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa with MPMC Chief Executive, Agafili Shem Leo and Samoa’s Consul in American Samoa starts preparations for the Samoa Talks while Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Samoa’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations looks on.