Foreign investment companies warned

By Adel Fruean 21 May 2020, 6:00AM

Some hundred and sixteen Foreign Investment Enterprises (F.I.E.) in Samoa risk being de-registered.

They have been warned by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L.) to make a submission to keep their name on the Foreign Investment Certificate (F.I.C.) registry.

The announcement was made by the Chief Executive Officer of M.C.I.L., Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling.

The M.C.I.L. is responsible for the issuing of F.I.C. which every foreign investor must have.  A completed Foreign Investment Registration form must be submitted to the Ministry, which requires the approval of the Chief Executive Officer. 

A foreign investor must not pursue a business activity classified in the Reserved List of the Foreign Investment Act (FIA) 2000 and must comply with the requirements of a business activity under the Restricted List of the FIA 2000.

According to the notice, it stated that the 116 F.I.E.s have been issued a F.I.C. but have failed to notify the Ministry of the status of business operations within the stipulated time frame will be subject to cancellation pursuant to Section 12 [1] (e) & (f) of the Foreign Investment Act 2000 (‘Act’). 

“It states that ‘A certificate issued under this Act may be cancelled by the Chief Executive Officer if the business has not commenced operations within two years from the date the certificate was issued or the business has ceased operations in Samoa,” read the notice.

However, should the business wish to remain on the Register, Section 12 [2] (b) of the Act it requires the certificate holder to make written submission within ten working days from the date of receipt of the notice to the Ministry for reconsideration.

Failure to provide the Ministry with written submission within the above mentioned time frame will result in the cancellation of the F.I.C. and removal of the F.I.E. from the Register.

The Ministry also reminded the public and business community that after the recent amendments to the Foreign Investment Act 2000 which commenced on 2nd of September 2015, all F.I.E. or businesses with the foreign shareholding are now required to renew their F.I.C. annually in accordance with Section 8B of Act.

Failure to renew a F.I.C. within the specified time frame will result in the F.I.C. holder having to reapply for a new F.I.C.

A reminder also to advise the Ministry of any additional activities to existing establishments.

“Should any further clarification be required, please contact the Industry Development and Investment Promotion Division, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Level four, ACC Building or on telephone numbers: 20441 and 28096.”

By Adel Fruean 21 May 2020, 6:00AM

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