A Samoan chief, Tupuola Letoa Tineiafi, has defended the influx of foreign-owned businesses popping up throughout the country saying it is a good thing for Samoa.
The businessman and farmer has called on Samoan businesses to embrace the challenge of competing against these foreigners so that members of the public will reap the benefits.
“I think that our people should be ashamed,” he said. Why? Because judging from what some of them are saying, they are afraid of competition.”
According to Tupuola, the Chinese businesses thriving in Samoa are that way because they have good work ethics.
“They have vision. They don't set up shop to make others jealous or to earn a living to show off what they have accomplished.
“In fact achievement to these people is not them but in the wellbeing of their next of kins.”
He believes they do it well because they put their heart into it.
“They set up to build their whole families. They do it well because they don't care what other people think about them or their reputations or how well they should dress or look on the outside.
“They do it to really earn a living and do it well because they are fast learners who don't complain and just sit on it. They actually go ahead and make changes.”
So instead of opposing them, Tupuola said Samoans should work with and learn from them.
“I think we could learn something from them instead of going off and complaining. Do you notice them showing off that they have millions like literally - in a way that they flash around money?
“Do you see them eat at fancy hotels, dress off in $700 pricey dresses or outfits?
“No they are classy but even in cheap outfits because they know those clothes don’t reflect real achievement.
“They only flash around what they are able to make because of hard work - that purchasing property to invest in, setting up other business the business ideas roll over on the other.”
Tupuola added that while our people continue to moan about not being able to compete with the Chinese, they are making a mockery out of our fighting spirit.
“I thought we were the Moanas of the ocean of the pacific...I mean the pearl of the Pacific. I thought we are navigators - yet we ought to be ashamed - we get so much handed to us that we forget the real beauty of hard work.
“We forget the real beauty of achievement and success that it doesn’t come overnight.
We reap what we sow - so if we sow something good now we may not live long enough to see it bloom.”
He knows that a right-minded person thinks about his or her children.
“If they are taught well they will continue to flourish that business or set up and their next of kins - the best example of that is the Otts and of course the Ah Liki/Westerlunds.
“The problem with our people is that they are too greedy - they are hypocrites.
“There is no lie in that word at all...they talk about love and kindness, hospitality and humbleness yet the truth is they don’t strive for others but themselves.
“We fail because we allow ourselves to wallow too long in self pity and blaming others for our place of initiative and lack of vision.
He reminded that the biggest problem for our people - the lack of vision.
“It’s easy to think...Oh I need extra money, I need to build a shop the problem there is this - they set up a business just for that 30 seconds without even realizing the truth behind the whole picture.
“The idea, research (competition; commodity what works and doesn’t work...etc), and then a five- ten year plan (where do i want to be with this business) and the list continues - continues we only started at initiate set up and ola faaigikia loa guessing game.
However, ‘when the first sale hits off they automatically think this is the profit’
“No, Jesus no this is not the profit they failed to think the sales for the first day should make up for the finance that bought the goods and if lucky set up the license and etc etc.
“But instead they get the first days intake and they use it to celebrate - uma ifo ua pu le kaga. I mean they work daily and not think commercially.”