BETWEEN THE LINES
An S.O.S. visit to Facebook?
The public surely appreciates the transparency shown by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai and the Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, when they posted pictures of themselves recently outside the headquarters of Facebook in Silicon Valley in America. The Silicon Valley has always been a magnet for many world leaders and the recent visit by the Minister and the A.G. is no different. Often the visitors use the occasion to announce investments in technology or collaboration. Or did the country’s top lawyer and Communications Minister need technical advice to resolve pressing issues back home such as finding the OLP or even blocking video content put online by the infamous King Faipopo?
Trademarking the word “Talofa”
You have to feel sorry for the Fijians but Samoans have to be on the lookout too. An American businessman recently got the famous Fijian greeting “bula” trademarked in the U.S., which basically means other companies in the same line of business – even in Fiji where the word originates from – cannot use it. Imagine a foreign business trademarking the word “Talofa”, and the implications it could have on local businesses that use it now and plan to export their brand internationally. Makes you wonder if folks at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L.) are ready to deal with these sort of threats posed by over ambitious profit-driven foreign businesses?
China’s Belt and Road Initiative
It is interesting seeing reports of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi – currently in China on an official visit – supporting China’s Belt and Road Initiative Project. Opinion is still divided over the implications that the Chinese-funded project will have climate change in different parts of the world, as the project involves the rolling out of massive infrastructure such as roads, railways and ports. The Prime Minister has come out firing in the last month as a champion of climate change. Hopefully, he has read the fine print and foresees the long-term implications for Samoa.