P.M. defends Govt. entities with shares in resort
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has defended Government entities that own shares with Sheraton Aggie Grey Beach Resort and Spa.
The Prime Minister said major Government investments on infrastructure are "not evaluated narrowly" in terms of dividends being paid out and, and if that happened there will be no development in the country.
He said the Government looked at the overall benefit to the nation including spin-offs for the people of Samoa.
“That means we incorporate these contributions like new employment, opportunities for local farmers, to sell their crops handicrafts makers to earn an income and many many more, not to mention contribute to our foreign exchange and the national economy.
“As the mainstay of our economy, tourism continues to play a dominant role in our Strategic Development Plan of Samoa 2016/17-2019/2020.
“On top of these contributions to the country’s national development, it goes without saying that Aggie's hotel is playing their role in enticing more visitors and tourists to come to Samoa,” he said.
Tuilaepa concluded that the issue is more complex than what has already been reported by the Samoa Observer, “because on paper it does not reflect the economic benefits to our country, our people and our economy".
According to the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour business registry, the Samoa National Provident Fund owns 54 per cent shares, making them the largest shareholder after it invested $34.23 million for the Financial Year 2018. Samoa Airport Authority is the fourth largest shareholder with $2.5 million investment and the third government entity is Parliamentary Pension Scheme with $680,272 shares.