New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden and Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi talk to the media following the bilateral talks in Apia today.
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 05 MARCH 2018: New Zealand is making an additional contribution of $3m dollars as upfront funding to the Samoan government for identified cyclone recovery needs.
This was announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Arden in Apia today following formal bilateral talks with Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.
Arden referred to what she has been told of the devastation by Cyclone Gita last month that included unprecedented land slips in a scale not seen before, and the funds are to help Samoa’s recovery and building resilience as well.
The Prime Minister also discussed funding for the Private Sector development of $6.5 million dollars saying the investment has been hugely successful and really making a contribution to increasing Samoa’s GDP. The funds target funding support for women and young people small business projects through the Ministry of Commerce and the Development Bank.
The Prime Minister noted the success of some of the private sector’s investments hence the additional support set aside for small business development.
She said both New Zealand and Samoa can help develop opportunities and support business projects for young people domestically, given that half of the population in Samoa are defined as young.
As part of her one day program in Samoa, she inspected some of the Small Business Enterprise (SBEC) events at the Taumeasina Hideaway where small business were showcased.
“We are working closely with your Ministry of Commerce and Development Bank to try and enhance this existing co-operation,” said Prime Minister Adern.
She is starting her annual Pacific tour in Samoa in what has been promoted as “Pacific Reset” setting out a new strategy that flags a stronger New Zealand Pacific aid policy as “it’s the Pacific where New Zealand mattered and could do the most,” according to Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters.
After Samoa, Ardens delegation will visit Tonga, Niue and the Cook Islands.