Chinese company wants land for 160 years

Lagi Keresoma

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by Lagi Keresoma

APIA: TUESDAY 4 JUNE 2013: Amongst other conditions a company wants to lease land for 160 years prior to investing in a variety of ventures here.

It includes a casino.

Beijing Zhao Yi Li Investment Management Co. Ltd., from China, lists 16 conditions in all it wants Government to meet.

A large delegation from the company went to Savai’i Island to look at potential sites for their businesses, one of them said.

They sat amongst the dignitaries at the Independence celebrations at Parliament grounds on Saturday.

A delegate member intervened to stop an interview but confirmed their trip to Savai’i and that they were from China.

Documents obtained by Talamua reveal Beijing Zhao Yi Li Investment Management Co. Ltd has presented Government with a list of “Preferential Policies for Chinese Investor to Samoa.”

Their “Preferential Policies” are in fact conditions, 17 in all.

The conditions are as follows verbatim:

“1. Acquire land for purpose of hotels and villas: considering the long term investment returns, a preferential price offering by Samoa Government and private  land owner is expected.

2. Land leasing for purpose of agriculture, beach, water park for a leasing period of  160 years.

3. Land for airport, port, hospital, school and nursery shall be provided by Samoa Government free of charge.

4. For the Government land surrounding airport, port and entertainment center, Chinese party, after signing the agreement, owns the priority to use the land. Any organization and person will not be allowed to explore or use the land without approval from the Chinese party.

5. Samoa Government shall approve of establishing financial institutions and bank.

6. Issue exclusive Permit to the Chinese party to manage gambling business. No other organ or person is allowed to engage in the same business in Samoa.

Medical, education, food industry and health projects shall be introduced into local system.

8. Power and its net-work made under this project shall be managed commercially by the investor.

9. Samoa Government shall agree to admit 30,000 workers in the whole range under the general project, who shall enjoy the same national treatment as local resident.

10. Overseas labor employed by the contractor shall be permitted to stay in Samoa no less than 3 years, and shall enjoy local social welfare.

11. Colleges under this general project can recruit students worldwide, a co-operation with third country university is allowed to be introduced into Samoa to upgrade education level.

12. All imported goods under the project are tariff exempted. Any sort of income duty will be exempted for 15 years since business started. Various permits and businesses licenses and investment agreement shall be finalized and submitted to Chinese party within 30 days.

13. Government shall allow visitors to enjoy tax-refund of luxury commodities.

14. Three languages shall be used simultaneously in Chinese, English and Samoan in all the identification and road signs in project locations.

15. The Samoa Government shall allow the investor to set up single- owner operated civil aviation company and shipping company.

16. Luxurious cruise shall have the right or passageways of going to the sea.

The above items must be reflected in the investment agreement to be signed between Chinese party and Samoa government, which is the essential prerequisite for the investment.”