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Local CoC signs MOU with Samoa CoC and Small Biz Enterprise Center

The local Chamber of Commerce has signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with their counterparts in Samoa in an effort to  facilitate trade and promote the service industry between the two Samoas, according to CoC chairman David Robinson.


Robinson signed the MOUs — with the Small Business Enterprise Center and the Samoa Chamber of Commerce & Industry — while in Samoa last week for the two-day Trade Fair held in front of Government House in Apia.


“The main purpose of the MOUs is to progressively facilitate two way trade between Samoa and American Samoa, to promote service industries and to provide opportunities for businesses to showcase their products and services,” Robinson said.


“The MOU is a statement of commitment to achieve productive business outcomes,” he told Samoa News yesterday, adding the MOUs were signed on the final day of the fair. (He also provided copies to Samoa News).


According to the MOUs, a major focus will be to develop two-way trade that benefits both countries’ economies and this will also extend to capacity building,education and training.


Objectives of cooperation between the two Samoas include building business capability through appropriate education and training programs; providing opportunities for businesses to showcase their products and services, mainly through networking, seminars, expos, and trade missions; and undertaking and facilitating any other activities that can enhance business mutually.


The MOUs further state that all parties agree that these MOUs are not intended to create binding legal obligations, but to be a Statement of Commitment that “focuses our collective energies” and objectives to productive business outcomes.


As for the fair, Robinson said it was well organized and offered an opportunity for small and medium size local companies to exhibit their products and services and establish trade contacts with other small and medium size businesses in Samoa and American Samoa.


“It was promoted as a stepping stone to grow and develop exports for bigger markets,” he said, adding that American Samoa’s representation at the fair was “small by comparison to that of the Samoa business community” with only the local Chamber of Commerce, the Visitors Bureau, the Shipyard Services Authority, StarKist Samoa and ANZ Bank being represented.


He also said StarKist “did an excellent job promoting their new ‘Fa’alavelave’ and ‘Meaalofa’ tuna packs and they gave out free samples during both days of the fair.”


“The organizers in Samoa plan to hold another Trade Fair next year and the Chamber will be invited to participate again,” said Robinson, who does not plan to seek another term as head of the local business association.