Samoa is the new home of the Polynesian Leaders Group (P.L.G.).
It’s something Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is extremely proud of, especially at a time when Pacific leaders are congregating in Apia for the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, which opened last night.
“This means Samoa will work towards establishing the headquarters here,” Tuilaepa told the Samoa Observer.
The group, which Samoa has played a lead role in developing, is six years old.
Its membership is made up of Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, American Samoa, Tahiti, Niue and the Cook Islands, with Wallis and Futuna becoming the newest member.
The Prime Minister said the P.L.G. is now the largest sub-group in the Forum.
Tonga also submitted a bid to host the P.L.G. Secretariat but later withdrew after strong support for Samoa.
The issue was decided during the P.L.G. meeting on Tuesday.
Another issue discussed, according to Tuilaepa, was the proposal by Samoa to unite the Polynesian countries through the Manatua Polynesian undersea fiber optic cable.
“At the moment, we have on board, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Fiji, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, and American Samoa,” he said.
“It’s actually much cheaper if the Pacific Islands reunite as one for the Manatua undersea fiber optic cable.
“The lines are laid on the very bottom of the ocean floor and the transmissions between continents at the speed of light and that each single cable can carry tens of terabits of information per second.”
According to the Prime Minister, the undersea fiber optic cable carries data faster and cheaper than satellites.
“So while countries can go on their own to purchase their own terabits, imagine coming together as one, because in actuality the more customers, the cheaper it will get.”
Also on the agenda was Air Service proposal by French Polynesia.
President Tagaloa Eduard Fritch told the Samoa Observer their plans to bring the Pacific Islanders together through an Airline Project.
“The plans is to have smaller airplanes which are more appropriate for the region but more importantly the quality of the customer,” he said.
President Tagaloa is adamant the Airline plan will take some time.
“But we’re almost there,” he said, “maybe in the next two to three years.”