Parliament tackles business policies and guidelines

The need to developing policies and guidelines for new business owners is one of the recommendations made by the Parliament Economic Sector Committee to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour. 

The recommendation was raised in Parliament when the Chairman of Parliament’s Economic Sector Committee, Fa’alogo Iosefa Sopi, spoke about the M.C.I.L’s Annual Report. 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, read out the government’s response, noting that M.C.I.L has similar programmes in place. 

He noted that the Ministry has also assisted in the promotion and publication of policies to raise awareness among the business community.

“The M.C.I.L. has an Awareness Day and Divisional Programmes” for Upolu and Savai’i. 

Furthermore he said there are also promotions through ministry websites, social media and pamphlets to assist the new businesses. 

Tuilaepa spoke about the importance of the Investment Guide and the National Investment Policy Statement. 

“This is an important publication intended to provide basic information that every investor needs to know about the investment environment of Samoa, such as the processes and procedures for setting up a business in Samoa; and who to contact on these processes.” 

Furthermore the National Investment Policy Statement sets out the Government policies for promotion and facilitating foreign and private sector investments. 

“The Government is committed to these policies and continues to review them in an endeavour to further improve the environment for private sector development. 

“Both booklets are reviewed regularly with the recent review that was complete in August 2016. 

“These booklets are available on the Ministry's website and readily available hard copies are distributed to overseas missions and are also kept on hand at the office. 

“The Ministry will continue to improve its monitoring methods as well as strengthen legal provisions to monitor the Reserved List and ensure that foreign investment enterprises are compliant with government legal provisions.”

The Prime Minister said the Ministry continues to improve on its procedures and publications.

Another recommendation includes a call on the Ministry to seek other ways to assist business owners in producing products that can be sold and exported overseas.

Tuilaepa pointed out the Ministry have secured more funding for a Trade Sector Support Programme for on-the-ground implementation along a value chain approach. 

The funds are specifically for the issue raised, the Sector envisioned that the funding of the Trade Promotion Officer under the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industries and will assist and advise local businesses on international market trends and products that yield high returns. 

Moreover, the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa is also capacitated with funds to carry out Research and Development of coconut and cocoa value-added products that would in-time be passed on to the private sector for commercialization.

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