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Eni commends CoC on efforts to promote biz

Washington, D.C. —Congressman Faleomavaega Eni  has commended the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce for their efforts to organize the local business community and work with the local government to prop up our economy in American Samoa.

 “I am pleased with the significant role and contributions of our local Chamber of Commerce in organizing our business community and promoting the interests of entrepreneurs across the territory. It has often been stated that the entrepreneurial spirit is the lifeblood of an economy, and I congratulate the Chamber, especially their Chairman, Mr. David Robinson, for his leadership,” Faleomavaega said.

 “The Chamber has played a significant role in the territory by being the voice of the business community regarding government relations, marked especially by Mr. Robinson’s role as Co-Chair of the Governor’s Economic Advisory Council. I also applaud the Chamber’s support for the efforts by American Samoa Bar Association to review our local laws for business-friendly improvements as reported recently by the Samoa News.”

“I urge business leaders across the territory to get involved and have a say in the public policy discussions regarding the economy,” the Congressman said.

He continued, “I was greatly disappointed when I last spoke at the Chamber of Commerce meeting two months ago. I noted that of all the business leaders around the room, there was not one representative from the Korean, Chinese, or Filipino businesses — are they not members of the Chamber? A large percentage of our retail businesses are operated by Asians and much of the local revenue collected by the American Samoa Government is generated from taxes paid or collected by these businesses. They need to also get involved and take part in the dialogue.”

Faleomavaega added, “I commend Mrs. Ngaire Ho Ching, CEO and General Manager for ACE American Industries, for getting involved and for speaking out candidly about one of the critical issues that has affected the business community in American Samoa, and specifically the government revenues by way of paying fair and honest taxes owed our government.”

He also pointed to her remarks that the Congressman read about in the Samoa News, during the Business Awards Ceremony sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Business and Professional Women of American Samoa, “in which she expressed her observations regarding the relationship between the private and public sector.” He encourages“ business leaders to continue to voice their concerns and propose improvements in the relationship between the private and public sector.”

“I congratulate ACE American Industries as winner of the Customer Service Award, as well as all of this year’s winners,” Faleomavaega stated. “I also acknowledge the tremendously important work ACE and many of our local businesses have done over the years and continue today in support of our local community through their generous giving to community events and important causes including educational scholarships for our young children and care for the elderly to name a couple.”

 “I congratulate the leaders and businesses honored at the Business Awards Ceremony and I thank the Chamber of Commerce for their hard work in advocating on behalf of local businesses in American Samoa,” he said.

The Congressman also noted that “Mrs. Ho Ching also made reference to pending draft legislation I am working on that would provide certain long time legal permanent residents in American Samoa with the opportunity to obtain U.S. National status, so I invite her and others in the public to attend and testify during the public hearing I will be conducting in Fagatogo on January 12, 2012.”