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P.M. issues reassurance about nation's economic stability

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has assured that Samoa's economy remains stable amidst the coronavirus pandemic panic. That's because the Government had the foresight to plan wisely to ensure there are enough reserves for the tough times, he said.

Speaking on TV1, Tuilaepa stressed that  when it comes to the national economy, the Government had to be very deliberate towards two key areas.

He said they wanted to ensure there was enough foreign reserves. 

He said the Government does not want a repeat of what happened when Tupua Tamasese Efi was the Prime Minister when there was a shortage of food and other supplies because the Government at the time could not afford it.

“If these two are impacted, the whole Government will be affected," he said. 

"The needs of the general public will not be met. With the Covid-19, the Government is supervising (everything) properly. We’ve heard (news) about overseas countries and their economies dropping.

“While for us, our reserves are sufficient from proper management (planning).”

In mid-April, the Central Bank of Samoa (C.B.S.) predicted the country’s gross domestic product (G.D.P.) will tank and drop by -6.6 per cent by the end of the year. This was following the international border closures resulting from the global pandemic COVID-19.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also had its’ own prediction that global G.D.P. will at its’ lowest fall by 3 per cent. It’s the lowest drop in nearly a century marking a worse economic downturn than the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

C.B.S. Governor Maiava Atalina Ainuu-Enari in response to an email to the Samoa Observer in April said the bank is predicting some economic bounce back in 2021, forecasting GDP to fall around -1.7 per cent, and ending the year on 1.1 per cent in December.

But with the global and regional situation changing daily, Maiava cautioned that the Bank’s prediction can only be as meaningful as the data currently available.

“Given the ever-changing global developments as a result of Covid-19 measures by various countries as well as our Government’s anticipated policy responses in the next few months, these forecasts will also highly likely change as new information becomes available,” she said in an email to the Samoa Observer.

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