A $600,000 Coin Save store was officially opened at what used to be the Vaitele produce market yesterday.
And present to launch the venture was Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi who congratulated his fellow Falevao chief and Chinese businessman, Tuituioaiga Teeking Weng, for taking on the challenge.
“Thank you for coming here and developing this space which has been here for many years,” he said.
The Coin Save has transformed the looks of the $5.7million market complex built by the Samoa Land Corporation.
“It is a market that was especially built for all the farmers living on the west of Apia but what happened was all of our farmers continued to go to the market at Fugalei,” Tuilaepa said.
“They never believed that people could come to where the market offers the best quality goods at the best and affordable price.”
The Prime Minister said the area needed a genuine and a strong businessman to develop it.
And in Tuituioaiga, the government has found their man.
“Now Tuituioaiga is coming to open his shop here to prove a point that it is the businessman’s ability to produce goods of the highest quality and affordable prices that will create the market for his own products,” he said.
Tuilaepa said Tuituioaiga’s venture could only be good for Samoa.
“I congratulate you for believing in developing this place and creating 30 more employment opportunities for our people.
“He has told me that he employs a total of 130 Samoans and this is a great opportunity for the development of our economy.”
When the Chinese businessman won the tender to run the place, he took four months to renovate and turn the building into what it is today.
He was a proud man yesterday.
“We can say that in this shop there are more than 5,000 commodities for the public to purchase from,” said Tuituioaiga.
“On the left we have the Frankie’s Hypermarket and on the right is the Ah Liki Wholesale and Farmer Joe but Coin Save is in the center so I hope that we will attract more Samoan customers into this area to shop.
“So let us work together to help turn this area into a new shopping center or business circle for all the Samoan people to come and shop in
“We all know that members of the Samoan community in New Zealand go to Otahuhu and Otara to shop there so now I have turned practice into history.”
He also congratulated his staff members for all their hard work.
The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Lautafi Fio Purcell, said that having Coin Save in Vaitele means that the government will not only benefit but members of the public will benefit also.
“There was minimal revenue collected from the Vaitele market however, since the new tenant the government has collected $27,000 on a monthly basis,” he said.
“Tuituioaiga started paying his lease in May before the renovations due to the fact he wants the public to know that he means business.
“These are the types of competing business the government for the benefit of the public.”
Lautafi said the Coin Save store is a one-stop shop for everyone.