“Lay out red carpet for our people”

By Ivamere Nataro ,

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Acting New Zealand High Commissioner, Nick Hurley and his Good lady, Christine, Minister Afamasaga Rico Tupai with New Zealand business owners, Eli and Wyndi Tagi

Acting New Zealand High Commissioner, Nick Hurley and his Good lady, Christine, Minister Afamasaga Rico Tupai with New Zealand business owners, Eli and Wyndi Tagi

Put Samoa first.

That’s the message from the Samoa Business Network (S.B.N.) Samoa chairperson, Afamasaga Jackie Curry.

She was speaking during the closing of the S.B.N. Business trip at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel on Thursday, where she challenged local businesses and government officials—to extend the same enthusiasm they give to foreign investors, funders and partnerships—to Samoans here and overseas.

“Lay out the red carpet for our people,” Afamasaga said. 

“For so long growing up in Samoa I’ve seen the way that sometimes out of respect we lay out the red carpet for others like our foreign investors, foreign partners and funders that come in. Why can’t we lay out the red carpet for our people when they come home?

“I have seen and heard stories especially from young professionals who return home that say they have come across barriers from our own people.

“Many of our people in business and leadership roles here, already have preconceived ideas of our returning Samoans, they think ‘they know it all, they have everything over there, who are they to come over here and start something’.”

Afamasaga challenged S.B.N. members and non-members to open their doors to the plethora of highly educated, skilled and experienced Samoans who want to come home.

“We have so many skilled Samoan consultants, academics, all over the world who want to come home and contribute. They can deliver projects that are currently being developed here in Samoa.

“When a young passionate Samoan person comes home and knocks on your door because they want to invest and collaborate in business or want to make a difference in Samoa, please give them the same opportunity given to foreign investors and businesses because you know what, those passionate Samoans returning home with a vision to contribute to the motherland will go above and beyond for our country.”

Prior to the closing dinner, a mini expo was held at the hotel featuring local products and services from government ministries, businesses, and N.G.Os. It was followed by a series of site visits where the New Zealand delegation visited the Samoa Research Organisation of Samoa, the Cable Depot, Sleepwell and Samoa Stationery and Books.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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