The President and Chief Executive Officer of Samoa Stationery and Books, Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai, has won three awards at the annual International Samoa Business Network 2018 Awards in Auckland, New Zealand.
Seven of Samoa’s local businesses were nominated with Tofilau scooping three categories. The awards include the People’s Choice Award; Samoa based Business of the Year Award and the Businesswoman of the Year Award.
Held at the Novotel Airport Hotel, S.B.N. Co-founder, Laura Keil-Hall acknowledged the network’s fifth year anniversary as well as their milestone achievement in hosting the first international Samoa Business Network Awards, featuring Samoan-owned businesses in New Zealand, Samoa, Australia and the United States.
“I am delighted to present an evening dedicated solely to the recognition and the hard work, resilience of Samoan-owned businesses and business owners,” said Ms. Keil-Hall.
“Samoa may be a small developing island state in the Pacific, however its influence is transnational, global and ever growing. Nowhere is this seen more than the world of business. The S.B.N. is a very small and very strong vibrant network that spans Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and recently growing interest in the U.S.A.”
Special guest, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell congratulated S.B.N. in initiating the Awards saying that such programmes are needed in strengthening business development. He also acknowledged the significance of the inclusion of award recognizing the achievement of Samoan Business Women.
“This initiative portrays a strong partnership and economic drive that is much needed in business development, especially this year the private sector and the Samoan government also implemented its inaugural export awards which focused the achievements of exporters and recognized the small medium enterprises in Samoa who have penetrated the export markets despite the economic limitations,” he said.
“I wish to acknowledge the inclusion of not only New Zealand based businesses, but also businesses that are established and operating in Samoa and of special mention is the special award that recognizes the contribution of women in business development and outstanding leadership as the popular saying in Samoa, ‘Women are achievers’ today is an important milestone of that.”
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai supported the Chairperson of S.B.N’s call to Samoan business people all over the world to work together for the development of New Zealand and Samoa.
“If I may echo the comments of the Chairwoman of S.B.N, we need to work together and walk together and compete in where we need to compete,” Afamasaga said. “The key word is ‘frenemies’ we can be frenemies in trading and in business, but still work together in collaboration with each is the fastest way we can develop our economy here and especially enlarge our economy back home in Samoa.”