FERO Samoa General Manager, Sam Fulton explaining the company’s core work in wire harnessing to guests at the launch
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 14 DECEMBER 2017: The commencement of two companies operation at the former Yazaki buildings, Vaitele provides export and employment opportunities for Samoa.
The facilities, owned by Samoa National Provident Fund were handed over to the automotive harnessing FERO Samoa Ltd and maker of bed mattresses – Sleep Well Ltd.
“This mornings’ ceremony is a milestone, the return of business to this area means more exports to boost our GDP, more jobs for our people, more levy’s for ACC, more contributions for SNPF, and sustained economic growth,” said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi.
Since the announcement in 2015 by the former tenant Yazaki Samoa of its closure, Government selected a special committee that included the Chief Executive Officers of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry Commerce and Labor and Samoa National Provident Fund (SNPF) to spearhead the task of finding new tenants to utilize the facility at Vaitele.
“In July 2017 after negotiations, Government secured two companies to begin operations, occupying two of the buildings of this facility, therefore successfully commencing the process of bringing back commercial activities lost due to the closure of Yazaki Samoa,” said Tuilaepa.
FERO Samoa Ltd was registered as a local company this year and they relocated their business from China and established a manufacturing facility in Samoa.
The company is expected to employ 70 workers initially and scaling its operation to 300 workers by 2020 and to 500 workers by 2022.
FERO Samoa specializes in wire harnessing and products manufactured in Samoa will be exported to New Zealand and Australia.
The second company Sleep Well is a joint venture between Sleep Well NZ Ltd and Samoa Stationery And Books (SSAB) Holdings Company and specializes in manufacturing beds and furniture exported to New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific region as well as the domestic market.
The company is expected to employ 50 workers and scaling operations up to 200 workers by 2020, and 400 workers by 2022.
In addition to the two companies, Government through efforts of SNPF is close to securing other possible tenants for building number 3, and other areas of this complex in order to maximize economic output from the facility.
Tuilaepa said that due to the different specialties of these two companies, the Government sought the assistance from international development partners such as New Zealand to assist in the redevelopment and refurbishing of the Vaitele facility.
He acknowledged the support from New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa His Excellency David Nicholson and the New Zealand Government for the grants and funds that helped revitalize these facilities.