The preliminary dialogue to the Two Samoas Trade Talks took place April 2nd and April 3rd in American Samoa. This discussion was to lay out the agenda for the formal Two Samoas Trade Talks in Apia, Samoa.
The Two Samoas Trade Talks is to set out goals and plans that will help stimulate the economies of both jurisdictions. Hosted at the Tradewinds Hotel, delegates from Samoa’s governmental and private sectors arrived in Tutuila on April 1st for a reception hosted by Star Kist Samoa at the Ta’alolo Lodge. The program officially began on April 2nd with welcome remarks from High Talking Chief and Chief of Staff Fiu J. Saelua followed by a prayer from Reverend Deacon Malaki Timu. Further remarks were given by Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa Honorable Fonotoe N.P. Lauofo and American Samoa’s Two Samoas Summit Chair High Talking Chief Tuaolo Manaia Fruean, Director of Elections Department.
The Two Samoas Trade Talks was co-chaired by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) CEO Aiono Su’a and Department of Commerce (DOC) Director Keniseli Lafaele.
Sessions 1& 2: Trade and Investment
A presentation on the trading environment of each respective country was given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the DOC. Both highlighted the major exports and imports, GDP and factors affecting growth and decline in trade. Private sector officers from the Chamber of Commerce also gave insight to their organization and members discussing issues and constraints in exporting and importing between the islands.
Current investment guidelines and possible areas of investment were discussed at length by representatives from DOC and MCIL. Private sector representatives asked about opportunities for investment and again discussed issues and constraints for investing and setting up shop in their counterpart island.
April 3rd consisted of discussion on the status of Ulu Research and Development Project addressed by Executive Director of the Pacific Business Center Dr. Papalii F. Avegalio. Two Samoas Co-Chairs Keniseli Lafaele and Aiono Su’a concluded with outcomes of the dialogue, action plans for the way forward and next meeting dates. Benediction was given by Reverend Deacon Malaki Timu with thanks and gratitude to and from both sides, and officially calling the Trade Talks to a close.
The Two Samoas will meet again in May in Upolu, Samoa.
- Honorable Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, Deputy Prime Minister
- Honorable Alo Taveuveu, Associate Minister
- Aiono Mose Pouvi Su’a, CEO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)
- Auelua Samuelu Enari, CEO, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (MCIL)
- Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling, ACEO, MCIL
- Fiona Ey, Board Chair, Samoa Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC)
- Margaret Malua, CEO, SBEC
- Tagaloa Eddie Wilson, President, Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters (SAME)
- Laisene Tuioti Mariner, CEO, SAME
- Dennis Williams, Executive Member, Samoa Chamber of Commerce (CoC)
- Ane Moananu, CEO, CoC
- Mataafa Tomasi Lata Esera, Consul General
- Belinda Filo-Tafunai, Principal Trade Officer, MFAT
- Theresa Penn, Senior Trade Officer, MFAT
American Samoa Delegation:
- Tuaolo M. Fruean, Chair of AS Two Samoa Task Force, American Samoa Election Office Commissioner (EO)
- Sonny Thompson, Co-Chair of AS Two Samoa Task Force, Director for Department of Human Resources (DHR)
- Keniseli Lafaele, Co-Chair Trade Talks, Director, Department of Commerce (DOC)
- Talauega Eleasalo Ale, Attorney General, Legal Affairs (LA)
- Moefa’auo William Emmesley, CEO, American Samoa Telecommunication Authority (ASTCA)
- Ameko Pato, Director, American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS EPA)
- Mitzie Jessop, Deputy Attorney General, LA
- Lewis Wolman, Bluesky Country Manager and President, Chamber of Commerce (CoC)
- Brett Butler, General Manager, StarKist Samoa
- Aaron Forsgren, General Manager, Forsgren at Laufou Shopping Center
- David Robinson, CEO, Shipyard Authority
- Frank Gaisoa, CEO, Tautua Mo Oe Inc.
- Pete Gurr, Deputy Director, Department of Agriculture (DOA)