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Samoa prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says his country joining the World Trade Organization will open the gateway for trade with American Samoa.

Tuilaepa, who was in American Samoa for the 2012 Flag Day celebration on Apr. 17 and 18, also spoke briefly about the newly established Polynesian Leaders Group - an eight member organization made of Polynesian countries.

In his address on Wednesday during the Flag Day closing ceremony, Tuilaepa said Samoa’s recent entrance into the World Trade Organization, “now opens up the gateways to world markets including potential trading between our two Samoas.”

“Needless to say, therefore, the ties which have been forged between us over the past years will continue to remain strong and should serve as the link that binds our two countries together,” he said.

He also spoke briefly about the Polynesian Leaders Group, which was established last year during a meeting in Apia, Samoa and attended by Gov. Togiola Tulafono through an invitation from the Samoa government.

Tuilaepa said the first ever meeting of the Group was convened in Apia, “whereby the participating countries not only agreed to adopt a set of resolutions that emanated from the discussions but that they also concur to be the founding members of such a prestigious group.

Amongst them, was American Samoa, represented by Toigola, said Tuilaepa.

“This was a proud moment that will go down in our history. And though there might be challenges and adversity at the outset, this group has the potential for future developments by standing together, unified, and with one voice,” said the Prime Minister, who wished American Samoa “the best” in its upcoming November general election.

More details of Tuilaepa’s address were published in the Apr. 19 edition of Samoa News.