Olo supports village rights to ban foreign businesses

Salega East’s Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Va’ai, supports village council decisions to ban foreign-owned businesses from setting up in their areas.

“If we have these wholesalers and supermarkets in the town area -- because they’re already all over the place -- they’ll provide fair competition for our locals to choose which of them has the cheapest goods.”

“There’s nothing wrong with the decision (from some of the villages) to ban these foreign-owned businesses (from setting up in their villages),” Olo said.

“That’s for the villages to decide; I mean it’s up to them.”

He denied the move was racist.

“No this is not, and further, people who are offering lease lands to the foreign-owned businesses should look at the other side.

“Some of our people are very greedy when they offer money to lease out their lands to the foreign-owned business in the villages.

“But they forget the effects on 99 percent of the many Samoan people and their businesses.

“I strongly agree with the decisions by some of the villages in the country to ban foreign- owned businesses.”

At the beginning of this year, the village of Salelologa initiated what was believed to be a first in Samoa -- to ban Chinese shops from setting up in their village.

The decision was made by the village council and banned businesses owned and operated by Chinese to be established on customary lands.

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