Embassy cautions Chinese businesses

By Marc Membrere 17 July 2020, 10:00PM

The Chinese Embassy has urged Chinese nationals living and operating businesses in Samoa to abide by local laws.

The message comes the Chinese Embassy at Vailima, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer with regards to a notice they had issued in the Chinese language, for the Chinese community.

"The Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens overseas and has been asking Chinese companies to strictly abide by local laws and regulations when doing business overseas," the Chinese Embassy statement reads.

"The Chinese Embassy has also published the notice hinting that Samoa has banned exploitation and export of sea cucumbers and hopes that Chinese citizens abide by local laws and customs in Samoa."

The warning comes after several high profile Court cases, as well as media exposure of deals involving Chinese businesses. 

Last week, Chinese businessman, Chen Pao, was fined for running an illegal fish processing operations in the back rooms of two of his restaurants.

Another Chinese national is facing charges in relation to allegations he attempted to export a container of sea cucumbers worth an estimated $10million tala.

A translation of the notice in the Chinese language sees the Embassy reminding the Chinese business community the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has confirmed that Samoa  prohibits the commercial fishing and export of wild sea cucumbers. 

The ban was issued in 1997 and has not changed so far, the notice said.

The notice further states that the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries stated that although the interest and demand for the export of wild sea cucumbers in the overseas market has been increasing in recent years, Samoa will still stick to its original position in order to protect the ecological environment. 

Samoa welcomes foreign investment and cooperation in artificial seafood farming and gives certain preferential policies."

By Marc Membrere 17 July 2020, 10:00PM

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