Falevao chief wins Market tender

By Sarafina Sanerivi 17 February 2017, 12:00AM

It’s official. 

The owner of Coin Save, one of the fastest growing Chinese businesses in Samoa, Tu’itu’ioaiga Teeking Weng, has won the tender to run the $5.7 million Vaitele Market.

And the Chinese chief from Falevao is expected to make the government a quarter of a million tala a year.

This was confirmed by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi yesterday. 

Tuilaepa said Cabinet has discussed and supported the proposal from the businessman.

“We discussed this issue in Cabinet on Wednesday,” said Tuilaepa. 

“Remember we have been advertising this market for so long but people hesitated to go there because they say it’s far from the main road. 

 “So the Minister appointed to look after this portfolio has been trying and working really hard to find ways in order to make money out of this market. 

 “His main goal is to get money out of this market.”

The Minister Tuilaepa was referring to is Lautafi Selafi Purcell, the Minister of Public Enterprises. 

“He is very active and a strong advocate in making sure that we get something out of this market,” Tuilaepa said.

Tuilaepa said because of numerous reports submitted in Parliament about the failure of the Vaitele Market to make a profit, Lautafi had to stand up and act quickly.

“That’s why the Minister has been trying so hard to look for avenues and ways to make this market work. 

“He had to do it in order for us to get money out of this market. And that is an example of a good Minister who is willing to do things for the benefit of our people. 

“He saw that we weren’t getting any profit from the market, so he had to do something about it. And he didn’t stop until he found a way.

“So this Chinese businessman approached him with a proposal.”

The rest is history.

Tuilaepa said he is confident the government will make a profit from the venture.

 “Right now, we only get $23,000 tala a year from the market at Vaitele,” he said. 

“But from this proposal and the new plan, we will get more than $250,000 (quarter million) a year. 

“That is a lot of money compared to the money we are getting now.

“This is also a great way to turn the market into something very useful.”

Tuilaepa denied reports that the government is also thinking of doing the same for the market at Salelologa. 

“No that’s a different case,” said Tuilaepa. 

“The thing is, for Savai’i, there is only one market, and that is the one at Salelologa. But for Apia, there are a lot of markets here. 

“So we are not thinking about doing the same for the market at Salelologa.”

In 2012, the Chinese businessman was bestowed with an orator title at the village of Falevao.

At that time, Tu’itu’ioaiga Teeking had lived in Samoa for three years. 

It all started while Tu’itu’ioaiga was living in New Zealand. His first Samoan friend he made was Puleesea le Soifua Kenape Tafili, of Falevao, who asked why he didn’t set up a business in Samoa. Tu’itu’ioaiga had never heard of Samoa.

Fast forward to today, the business has spiraled and Tu’itu’ioaiga’s relocation to Samoa has led him to form a strong relationship with the rest of the family at Falevao.

By Sarafina Sanerivi 17 February 2017, 12:00AM

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