On Tuesday 23rd August, the Samoa Chamber of Commerce held its monthly members meeting at the Sheraton Samoa conference room in Apia.
The meeting was made possible with sponsorship of the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Greys Hotel & Bungalows.
The Chamber meeting was followed by presentations from guest speakers – the Honorable Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, and Chamber Past President & Immediate Past Chairman of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), Mr. Klaus Stunzner and Mr. Carl Amos of the Sheraton Samoa.
Seven new members were introduced and they were Ulalei Lodge, FJK Holdings, Money Flame, Ponifasio Lawyers, Le Petit Café, Mama Jane’s, Spacific Marketing and Business Consultancy.
The Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti highlighted that the Government continues its commitment to providing an enabling environment for businesses to grow.
The Minister, drawing on his Budget address from earlier this year re-emphasized the policy initiatives and reforms that the Government intends to undertake, relevant to ensuring that the private sector takes a leading role in creating investment and employment for Samoa.
He further highlighted the targeted provision of a comprehensive review of Samoa’s tax system, covering all tax and non-tax revenues.
The review will examine the efficiency and fairness of the current taxation arrangements to ensure that taxes that individuals and businesses pay do not stifle incentives and jeopardize the competitiveness of Samoan businesses, minister stated that 2 members of the private sector will sit on the review committee.
The review aims to provide a reliable growth in revenue, a widening tax base as well as improvement in equity and efficiency while maintaining competitiveness.
The Minister issued a strong challenge to all Private Sector Organizations (PSO) to work together to unify the Private Sector’s voice and representation through one National Private Sector Organization, stressing that the relationship between the Government and the Private Sector as a whole, should continue to be strengthened as the two sectors have joint responsibilities in providing a sustainable environment for Samoa’s economy to grow.
Mr. Klaus Stunzner gave a brief summary of the administrative and governance structure of PIPSO, including PIPSO’s criteria for appointing the NPSO for each member country.
PIPSO’s membership is made up of the peak National Private Sector Organizations from each of the 14 Pacific Forum Island Countries with the addition in the last 2 years of American Samoa and New Caledonia.
The Samoa Chamber of Commerce is the NPSO for Samoa. Klaus also spoke about the programs and support available from PIPSO through the Samoa Chamber of Commerce. On the 29th of August to the 1st of September this year, PIPSO in partnership with Chamber will host the 2nd Agribusiness Forum in Samoa. At this Forum, PIPSO and CTA will be launching an Agribusiness Project, valued at approximately EUR 1.4 million over a period of 3 years.
The Chamber and PUIPSO will also be hosting 2 events in Samoa in 2018 – the Trade Pasifika Trade Show and the Pacific Women Entrepreneurs Network. Samoa’s representative for the next 2 years on the PIPSO Board is Ms. Sheree Stehlin. Ms. Sheree is the President of the Women in Business Development Incorporated (WIBDI) and is an Executive member of the Samoa Chamber of Commerce.
Carl Amos of Sheraton Samoa presented on the exciting services and programmes that the recently refurbished hotel has to offer for local and overseas guests. Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows consists of 174 guest rooms and suites.
Its Lobby Lounge is opened 24/7, offering a variety of food and beverages. Mr. Amos also highlighted their special offers and programmes such as the Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) which is inclusive of all interested guests who can register online to become a SPG member, offering special rates and discounts at all dining venues as well as other services.
The SPG allows guests to earn starpoints for every dollar spent to receive complimentary in-room internet access when booking direct. Apart from being a Hotel, Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows offers a wide variety of services, accommodation for business and guest activities, recreational activities and entertainment, family occasions, shopping as a well as access to a reliable Internet connection, in a relaxing and friendly environment.
The Samoa Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc. as the National Private Sector Organization (NPSO) is funded by the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP).