The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour has a new Chief Executive Officer.
He is Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling, who takes over from the former C.E.O, the late Peseta Margret Malua who passed away in June this year.
The appointment was confirmed by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Selafi Purcell, yesterday.
Pulotu, a father of six who has worked in the Ministry as the Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the Industry Development and Investment Promotion Division (I.D.I.P) since 2006, is humbled by his new role.
“Glory must be given to God for the appointment,” Pulotu told the Samoa Observer yesterday. “I am ready to continue on the work of the Ministry especially in developing the country.”
Pulotu assumes the role at a very challenging time. With the announcement that the country’s biggest private employer, Yazaki Samoa Eds, is shutting down, Pulotu knows the future will be difficult.
The new C.E.O. admits there is a lot of work to be done. He added that the announcement by Yazaki was not surprising at all.
“We had been informed for some time now about Yazaki’s decision and we had been consulting with them,” said Pulotu.
“There are projects of the government to attract foreign investors not only to bring in capital equipment to start businesses, there are also programmes the government can assist our people with in developing their businesses.”
According to Pulotu, people need to be stay encouraged and think entrepreneurship to create businesses and work together.
He said the ultimate goal is to create opportunities for people.
Asked what other opportunities are there to provide employment for Yazaki workers, Pulotu said there are potential work in fisheries, as well as value added products in manufacturing.
He said the government has to be proactive in attracting foreign investors to Samoa.
“We have to take that road and pathway,” he said.
“Samoa is a very small country with limited resources and isolated from market in the world. We are not saying that we will go with any company because there are due diligence processes and thorough assessments we undertake.”
In the meantime, Pulotu said the most important thing is to work with the Ministry, the relevant stakeholders and the private sector as well as development partners and donors.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, Minister Lautafi extended his congratulations to the new C.E.O.
The Minister said Pulotu was one of six candidates shortlisted for the position from ten applicants.
“I’m confident he will not disappoint and will do justice to carry on the work of his predecessor,” said Lautafi.
“He doesn’t have to follow the path of others (previous C.E.O.) he can form his own path that no one else has been before and let others follow that is my policy. I’m sure everyone else that applied are all qualified but unfortunately we only have to pick one.”
Lautafi also acknowledged several A.C.E.Os of M.C.I.L. who took on the challenge of becoming Acting C.E.O. while awaiting an official appointment.
Pulotu is from the village of Aleisa and resides in Nu’u.
He holds a Bachelor of Art majoring in Economics and Management from the University of South Pacific. A former student of Samoa College, he has also worked for Colonial Insurance in Samoa.