Samoa’s Parliamentarian delegation in the Fujian Province, China.
By Nanai Taofiga Laveitiga Tuiletufuga, Government Press Secretariat
FUJIAN PROVINCE, CHINA: As the hometown of the Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Fujian Province has a lot to be proud of.
Fujian’s Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) has sky rocketed from US$249 in 1978 per person to a whopping $8,000 in 2013 and it continues to grow. With a population of 39.11 million, you do the math which should give you an idea on the successful achievements by the Fujian Province located on the South Coast of the People’s Republic of China.
The Province is also the top maritime economic achiever in the Republic.
And as guests of the Fujian Province this week, the 8 member Parliamentarian delegation from Samoa led by Select Committee Chairperson for the Social Sector and Former Health Minister Gatoloaifaana Amataga Alesana-Gidlow, are in awe.
The look and learn tour by the Samoan Parliamentarians is an initiative by China and fully funded by the Republic. It also fulfills a promise by President Xi Jingping to Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi.
In November 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping met Prime Minister Tuilaepa and the two leaders agreed to establish a strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development.
The target is for the Samoan lawmakers to learn from Fujian Province trials and tribulations and in the process better equip them when making informed decisions when it comes to reviewing and approving legislations that benefit Samoa.
As guests, the Samoan delegation is getting first class exposure to Fujian’s success stories through a visit to the History Museum of Fujian Party School as well as lectures and question and answer sessions on the Practice of Reform and Opening-up; Fujian’s Experience coupled with Cross-Straits Relations and Fujian-Taiwan relations.
The delegation has also crossed paths with some of the key and influential members from China’s CPC.
“Impressed is an understatement,” said Gatoloai.
“Samoa values parliamentary exchanges with China and would like to promote the two countries’ relationship.”
She noted that Samoa is among the first countries in the Pacific to forge diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China. Diplomatic ties were established in 1975 and since then, China-Samoa relations have developed steadily over the past three decades even though the international situation has changed greatly.
“The two countries have supported each other politically and economically. They have also cooperated well in other fields. This benefits the people of the two countries,” continued Gatoloai.
She noted that China and Samoa will without a doubt continue to promote political trust and economic cooperation to push bilateral relations between the two countries to a new height.
This week the tour moves to Beijing where the Samoan lawmakers will be treated to a presentation on China and the Communist Party of China
The delegation members include;
- Gatoloaifaana Amataga Gidlow, MP – Chairperson Social Sector Committee – Leader of the delegation
- Faaulusau Rosa Duffy Stowers, MP – Member Infrastructure Sector Committee
- Seiuli Ueligitone Seiuli, – Associate Minister for Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure
- Mulipola Leiataua Laki Mulipola, – Associate Minister for Finance
- Toleafoa Ken Vaafusuaga Poutoa, MP – Member Economic Sector Committee
- Ili Setefano Taateo Tafili, MP – Member Social Sector Committee
- To’omata Aki Tuipea, MP – Member Finance & Expenditure Committee
- Harry Mila – Manager Information Technology, Legislative Branch
- Tony Melbourne Natanielu – Manager Parliamentary Committee Legislative Branch
- Nanai Taofiga Laveitiga Tuiletufuga – Press Secretary – Ministry of the Prime Minister & Cabinet.