The influx of “new Chinese businesses” across the country is alarming.
The point was raised by Member of Parliament for Faleata West, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, who has urged the government to revisit the issue.
He wants the relevant officials to ensure local businesses who are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with the new Chinese are given a fair chance.
At the moment, he said Samoans cannot compete with the new Chinese.
A resident of Vaitele, Lealailepule said it is difficult to ignore the fact there are a Chinese businesses springing up in every corner.
He said the same thing is happening across the country – including Savai’i.
“It’s a concern not only in this area (Vaitele) but also Samoa in general,” said Leala.
“The thing is, we want to bring genuine business people. You see, these businesses have both negative and positive impacts.
“Positive in terms of competition and you know when there is competition, the prices drop. And that’s good because the prices will be affordable for our people.”
But Leala said the growing number of new Chinese businesses threaten the livelihood of local businesses.
“The truth is it’s so hard for our people to compete with the Chinese shops,” he said.
“Our people used to own Supermarkets and run their own stores. But it’s so hard for them to compete with these Chinese businesses. As you can see all around Samoa, most of the supermarkets and wholesales are owned by Chinese.
“This is the line of the business they are all getting into. And our local shop owners cannot compete with them.”
Leala said if the Chinese business owners want to bring their businesses to Samoa, they should make sure they offer employment opportunities for local people.
“We should look at that carefully. If they bring in their businesses, then should let our people work there because I’ve seen that for most of them, they bring their businesses here and bring their own workers at the same time.
“But they should allow our people to work there. In this way, our people can have jobs and so we can benefit from it.
“They should take ownership and provide jobs for our people.”
Leala also called on the government to ensure these new businesses follow procedures, pay their taxes and don’t abuse the privileges offered to them.
“The government should also make sure they regulate their businesses well and that they pay taxes.
“Another thing is, they should avoid giving goods to the young kids to sell on the streets. I found out that some of the kids selling things on the streets got their goods from the Chinese business people.
“And we should track down these people and stop this. Like I said before, it’s a concern, and our government should look at this carefully.”