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CoC Chair disappointed by local lack of interest in Apia Trade Fair

Chamber of Commerce chairman David Robinson is disappointed there has not been much interest expressed by local businesses to participate in next week’s Trade Fair in Apia.


The fair is an effort to find trading opportunities between businesses in American Samoa and Samoa as well as promoting local small businesses to the whole of Samoa, with the fair set for Nov. 28-29 in front of Government building in downtown Apia.


However, there has not been much interest shown by local businesses despite the Chamber’s letter sent out to its members last month along with other form of communications to gain interest. “I am very disappointed at the lack of interest from our side,” Robinson told Samoa News yesterday.


The only participants so far from the territory are the Chamber, the American Samoa Visitors Bureau, ASG Shipyard Services Authority, Tool Shop Inc., StarKist Samoa, and ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank, he said, adding that StarKist and ANZ Bank will have their own booths while the other vendors will be in the Chamber’s booth.


“I’m still hoping that there will be more local participation so that American Samoa can share with Samoa and others what we have to offer,” said Robinson. 


The local Chamber is partnering with the Small Business Enterprise Center (SBEC) and the Samoa Chamber of Commerce for the fair and any local businesses can share the Chamber’s booth if they do not wish to have one of their own.


According to the draft program of the fair, Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi will deliver special remarks for the opening ceremony and there will be remarks from the New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Samoa.


The program also shows that the local Chamber will showcase what’s available in the territory as well as business and trade opportunities available here. Among the displays and events showcased by Samoa will be the “Christmas Special Packages”, which will be very attractive to tour operators traveling in from Australia and New Zealand.


The last day of the fair includes Robinson signing a new Memorandum of Understanding with the SBEC and the Samoa Chamber to replace a 2005 document between the local Chamber and the Samoa Manufactures Association.


The new MOU emphasizes both sides working together on economic development — such as trade, tourism, manufacturing and exporting between the two Samoas.


The Trade Fair in Samoa was also to coincide with the Inter-Samoa talks, but American Samoa had requested the talks to be held earlier in December due to conflicting dates with the Farmers Fair in Pago Pago.


Samoa News understands American Samoa has requested the inter Samoa talks be held Dec. 5-6.