DOC chief attempts rescue of economic development aid
Sent on a mission by Governor Lolo M. Moliga, to try to recapture the $10million, which the American Samoa Government stood to lose, after failing to present an acceptable State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Plan to the United States Department of Treasury, Department of Commerce Director, Keniseli Lafaele met with Outreach Manager of the US Treasury SSBCI Program, David Rixter on the matter.
Lafaele attended the meeting in Washington DC, on behalf of the governor, on October 31, 2013 according to a statement issued by the Governor’s Office, and the DOC Director has informed the governor he had a very successful meeting with Rixter and both look forward to continuing to work with each other to support the economic development goals of Governor Lolo for the people of American Samoa.
The DOC director further revealed that the final SSBCI plan — a new one — will be submitted soon, which, when approved, will provide funding to jump start the creation of new businesses and support the expansion of existing businesses in American Samoa. “This will in turn provide much needed jobs for the Samoan people.”
“In conjunction with the Treasury meeting, Director Lafaele and staff member Line Noue Kruse attended the Select USA Investment Summit where President Obama spoke to participants about how Select USA will become the Point of Contact for all foreign investors to facilitate the ease of foreign investments in the U.S.”
Lafaele is reported to have traveled to New Jersey and met with potential business partners and investors on the U.S. mainland who expressed significant interest in several opportunities, which would create additional business ventures and employment for American Samoans.
The press release said that during the New Jersey meeting, the DOC Director discussed issues regarding active duty and veteran service members, and other issues of interest to American Samoa with Vietnam Veteran and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Jack Jacobs.
On behalf of, and at the request of the Governor, Lafaele extended an invitation to Colonel Jacobs to visit American Samoa; and according to the statement, the Governor intends to send Colonel Jacobs an official invitation to honor American Samoa with his presence during our Flag Day in April 2014.