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Samoa moves forward with plans for financial trade center, stock exchange

The Samoa government’s plans to develop their financial trade center are forging ahead, according to Finance Minister Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, in a media release from the Press Secretariat in Apia, Samoa.

Faumuina said over a hundred big companies from off island have indicated that they will register with the center once it starts operating.

“It will run as a stock exchange and at least one local company will be listed when the center is operational.

“SIFA (Samoa International Finance Authority) will also play a major role in this venture.”

But eventually, Faumuina notes in the press release that the stock exchange will encompass other private sector ventures in energy development, tourism and hotels, Information Technology, banking, airports, ports and shipping.

He said that they came back from a road show in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Beijing and Chengdu in China.

“It was a fact finding mission to familiarize ourselves with the step-by-step set up of such a center” said Faumuina.

Regarding the Development Bank in Samoa, Faumuina said that the stock exchange will also be identifying a banking underwriter.

He said that immediate benefits from the financial center to the local economy includes huge foreign investment, job creation, corporate tourism and infrastructure development in partnership with the private sector.

“There will immediately be a proliferation of white collar employment opportunity for our young people, spinoffs to the tourism sector.

“Our GDP forecast for next year is slated at $1.7 billion. In five years — with the financial center in full operation – the GDP should jump to well over $2 billion.”

Faumuina said the center is planned to be housed in at least a 15-story complex which is yet to be decided by Cabinet.

“But Cabinet and my ministry are keen to push this venture forward. Construction of the new complex will certainly begin in the first quarter of next year. It will be funded by investors from overseas.

“That is about the same time government will be building its new multi-story headquarters at Savalalo.”

According to the media in Samoa, Faumuina announced the financial center when parliament convened last week for their nightly sessions.

(Source: Media release of the Press Secretariat, Apia, Samoa)