New woman at Chamber helm
British American Tobacco General Manager Seulupe Michelle Macdonald is the new President of the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Amidst one of the worst ever economic periods for Samoa and extreme unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Seulupe is tasked to lead the private sector through uncertainty towards a gradual return to normal.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Seulupe said it was only natural for her to take up the mantle having been the Vice President for the last three years, which she says have taught her about the importance of amplifying the private sector voice.
She said she intends to work on ensuring the private sector secures a “robust” stimulus from Government to contend with the economic effects of the pandemic.
“It is important we continue to advocate with relevant government stakeholders for the recovery across all sectors of our membership to ensure that we a robust, broad based stimulus package which has a direct cut through to impacted sectors which require immediate intervention,” she said.
In her next three years as president, Seulupe said she intends to ramp up the private sector’s involvement on boards and steering commitees in the community to ensure the Chamber supports Samoa’s economic recovery.
“All these priorities line up with our vision as a national private sector organization to lead the empowerment of business potential growth as a key partner to Samoa’s private sector development.
“Our mission as the [National Private Sector Organisation] for Samoa is to advocate, facilitate and foster sustainable the development of the private sector through effective leadership and meaningful dialogue.”
Asked whether the Chamber is living up to her expectations of its role, Seulupe listed several Chamber activities that are supporting various parts of the private sector, including the COVID-19 business impact and business confidence surveys, the Business Link Pacific programme, youth innovation workshops, collaborations with partners in the cocoa industry and more.
“It is important we continue to work together collectively with all stakeholders so we have a mutual win-win perspective to ensure private sectors remains the engine of growth for our economy,” Seulupe said.
Outgoing President Jennifer Ula-Fruean served three terms as head of the Chamber and now remains on the executive council as a Past President.
The Chamber Executive Council for 2021 is:
President - Seulupe Michelle Macdonald of British American Tobacco Ltd
Vice President -Tom Hogarth of Transam Company Ltd
Secretary - Faasootauloa Sam Saili of Skyeye Pacific
Treasurer- Nadia Meredith-Hunt of KVA Consult