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Peddling a Bicycle presents more challenges for the Peddler than the one on the Carrier

“The Essence of Supporting Private-Sector Development in Samoa”.


As the year draws to an end perhaps it would be remiss not to extend a token of appreciation to all the local businesses in the Private-sector that have endeavored against all odds throughout the year.

By this, we are referring to those businesses that have invested in adding value to locally sourced raw materials towards enhancing the quality and value of the products for both local consumers and export markets in the region and internationally.

Running a business is similar to peddling a bicycle with passengers on the carrier. The business owner has to endure sleepless nights in most instances, figuring out how to generate profits for the products he is offering on the market.

They also have to figure out how to pay rents, salaries, utility costs and of course taxes which are essential in sustaining a condusive business environment for them. For those on the carrier of the bicycle, such as the employees, in most instances these challenges may not be so clearly visible because if they were, they would view the business as a crucial entity from which they derive their “daily  bread”.

Irrespective of which season, the employer has to pay wages even if it means having to pool that off an existing loan arrangement with a financing entity. He is under obligation to continue peddling the bicycle up the hill, down the hill, through valleys storms e.t.c.

The ones on the carrier,perharps  as they enjoy the ride may either  appreciate this sacrifice and even offer to jump off and push the bicycle when its gets to a hill or simply opt to complain that the one ridding the bicycle isnot peddling hard enough.

It can be imagined that  similar scenario exists for those in responsible positions in Government considering they have to figure out inroads and solutions essential for creating a conducive business environment for all players in different sectors within the economy.

What that could involve,in for instance negotiations  with foreign target markets, having to be on the receiving end  of any riddicle that may be lashed out at their country if their export products don’t meet the international benchmarks to enter into markets of those target foreign markets.

Developed nations have strict product entry requirements into their markets similar to rules of not allowing anyone to enter a mosque with shows on least you soil it. In most instances, the lead negotiators may have to eat humble pie as they endeavor to explain why products from their economies donot meet the benchmark, explain measures in the pipeline to enable exports meet the quality expectations of the target foreign markets and perharps lobby for asstiance to enable the players in their economy meet the benchmark.

At times this may not register well with some of their counterparts in the Private-sector in some instances, nonetheless  the peddling must continue for the common national good. 

The challenges of exporting from Samoa to anywhere in the world considering  the distant geographic location to markets are very visible. But despite this, the critical importance of strengthening the export sector for the benefit of the economy is very essential considering all business players in Samoa are persistently battling for an economic breakthrough for their products everyday while in the hope of generating income for the economy and creating employment opportunities their citizens.

They continue in this endevaour perharps because they are aware that the more Samoa continues to solely rely on imports without exporting much, means Samoa is contributing and or donating  her financial capital to purchase of products manufactured elsewhere.

This also means contributing to the sustainability of the companies in those economies producing and supplying those products and sustaining their employment opportunities for citizens of those nations. This has both its pros and cons considering Samoa isnot capable of producing everything. 

Perhaps what keeps popping up in the mind of the Private sector peddler as he approaches a hill of an export market is that  a clear balance needs to be struck to ensure economic return for his business. The Government peddler on the other hand could perharps be thinking of the economic benefit for the citizens in terms of employment created and increased foreign capital that will accrue to circulate within the economy once a new market is opened. 

It is very essential to have foreign investors especially those that will focus on value addition to local products and services because this way more revenue would flow more towards Samoa from sales in foreign countries.

It’s also very essential to consume locally produced products considering this ensures that revenue obtained from this consumption circulates within the economy as opposed to when it flows out because of consumer preferences which ofcourse are a right.

An ideal situation could perhaps be focusing any import  purchases towards countries  that are in return providing access to employment opportunities to Samoan citizens in productive or related sectors or supporting service sector development.

It wouldn’t be such a bad idea in the peddling exercise to advocate for a bicycle design that enables enhanced shared partnership in the peddling exercise as opposed to old models where only the one at the front endureS the peddling.

 

 Wishing all a Merry xmas to all as you peddle along into 2019.

Stephen Musubire

Vaitele

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