Pacific News Briefs
MCIL & THE CITIZENSHIP INVESTMENT ACT
The Citizenship Investment Act 2016 has attracted a lot of interest and government officials are now engaging with potential investors.
The Act is an initiative by government to attract new businesses to stimulate the economy and create new employment opportunities.
And there has been a lot of interest, reiterates the Chief Executive with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, (MCIL) Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling.
As the implementing agency of the Act, MCIL have been promoting the new law designed to attract foreigners to receive a Samoan citizenship. However in return they must start a business operation in Samoa that will create new jobs.
“The response from many of the interested parties appears positive and many have communicated back to us after initial contact,” says Pulotu. And he suspects that perhaps the main reason for investors not coming forward immediately could be that they were under the assumption once they pay up the initial $4 million tala upfront payment for a Samoan citizenship, their deal is sealed.
“There are a few mandatory requirements which include a medical and police report as well a proven business record.etc.
“In drafting the Act, due diligence was exhausted which include public hearings to garner the views of the people and stakeholders,” added Pulotu.
“And part of the Act was designed based on public reservations and even grave concerns voiced in parliament by the lawmakers that putting a price tag on Samoan citizenship would open the gateway for foreigners to take over the country.
But not according to the Act.
Citizenship by Investment is the granting of citizenship status to an individual (and immediate family members) contingent upon a specified and quantifiable investment in Samoa.
This scheme is administered by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour under the provisions of the Citizenship Investment Act 2016 and its Regulations 2016.
Previously there were only four options to obtain Samoan Citizenship which were Citizenship by Birth, Citizenship by Decent, Citizenship by Marriage or Citizenship by Permanent Residency. This new program will allow individuals and immediate family members an additional option to obtain Samoan Citizenship through investment.
(Source: M.P.M.C. Press Secretary)
PM CHAIRS PACIFIC GAMES COMMITTEE
Samoa has started it preparations to host the Pacific Games 2019 even though the Pacific Games Council will meet at the end of the month to determine the host country.
But it’s not stopping the Samoa Government from preparing to host the games, says Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi.
As of now, Samoa is the only country to have officially submitted its request to host the next Pacific Games after Tonga pulled the plug last month. The Kingdom had cited financial reasons and different priorities as grounds for their withdrawal.
And adopting the Scouts Code, To be Prepared, the Prime Minister this week was appointed as the Chairman of the Pacific Games 2019 Preparations Executive Committee. “I remain firm on my resolve that we are more than prepared to host the Pacific Games,” said Tuilaepa. “We have the facilities coupled with our impeccable hosting record of world sporting events.”
The Prime Minister continued, “In recent years Samoa hosted the Oceania Weightlifting Championships, the Commonwealth Youth Games and the All Blacks test against Manu Samoa. Subsequently China recently committed to fund major improvements to our sporting facilities at the Apia Park and Tu’anaimato.
“We have always stand ready to host international sporting events because of the capabilities and the quality of sporting facilities constructed for the 2007 Pacific Games,” he said.
Early this month, Tuilaepa also wrote to the President of the Pacific Games Council reaffirming Samoa’s request to host the Pacific Games.
In that letter, the Prime Minister indicated that if Samoa is given the hosting rights, he will return to competition as one of the country’s Archery competitors.
In 2007, Tuilaepa became the first government leader to represent his country in an international sport competition during the Pacific Games in Samoa. He won a silver medal and says he will make his comeback in 2019 in Apia to claim the gold medal he missed in 2007.
Tahiti and New Caledonia have publicly declared their interest to bid for the 2019 Pacific Games hosting rights.
(Source: M.P.M.C. Press Secretary)