Government stimulus should be SAT$300 million

Apia, Samoa

APIA: 9 Feb 2009 – The President of the Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters (SAME) Papali’i Grant Percival says that in order for Samoa to survive through the tough financial times, an amount no less than SAT$300 million should be invested to recover the business sector. The stimulus package will be discussed this month before the Government announces an amount and implementation process of the stimulus package. The stimulus package was raised last week in the media by the Chamber of Commerce whose members endorsed the need for a package at its monthly meeting.

“Our members feel that a stimulus package will be needed if the recession in the USA takes its full impact upon the New Zealand and Australian economies, which will in turn affect the levels of remittances to Samoa,” the Chamber stated.

Misa Telefoni Retzlaff, Minister of Trade says that economic indicators are still strong however suggested that there is a need to analyze the response of the private sector to recent changes in the international financial situation.

“We shall devote a Saturday in February to hold consultations on whether a stimulus package is necessary and in what specific areas,” he told local media.
Papali’i says that a stimulus package is vital to the survival of the business sector, and the survival of all those who depend on it.
“We are in a very crucial position right now and if a stimulus package is not issued we are gone,” Papali’i said.

The SAME President, who is a member of Chamber and an executive member of the Samoa Umbrella for Non Government Organisations (SUNGO) says that it is not the people out in the villages who will suffer if the stimulus package is not offered but rather those who have moved into town in search for better income.
“The interest rates are too high right now, and it is forecasted that tourism will decline by 20%, so no doubt this will affect the industries, and subsequently those who work in it,” Papali’i said.

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