New High Commission to cost $25 million
Cabinet has given approval for the Government’s investment arm Unit Trust of Samoa (UTOS) to fund the building of a new High Commission chancery for Samoa in Wellington, New Zealand.
The building project will start next year and will cost UTOS approximately $25 million.
The Cabinet’s decision was announced by the Minister for Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, when he gave the keynote address at the annual general meeting of the State-owned investment arm last Friday.
Sili also spoke on Government’s plans to provide opportunities to ensure that UTOS continues to grow for the benefit of Samoans. Some of these opportunities included the investment in shares of the Samoa Submarine Cable Company Ltd and the financing of the Malo Samoa Centre in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Minister said the Government is keen to grow the number of overseas and local-based Samoan investors at UTOS. The total number of unit holders at the UTOS is currently 2263 with those present at the AGM urged to encourage families and friends to invest and reap the benefits for the families.
He also stressed to the unit holders, the importance of investing funds in UTOS for a term of three or more years to get the maximum return on their funds. These returns include dividends that are paid annually to the unit holders and capital gains. The initial unit price in 2010 was .97 sene and it has grown steadily over the years with a current prevailing price of $1.61. The main aim of the Unit Trust is to build economic growth for a better future; focusing on long term investments in order to realise a high return to unit holders on their investments.
A tribute was also made to the former UTOS Chief Executive Officer, late Sau Justina Sau-Lam, with the Minister describing her as a valuable leader who contributed immensely to the organisation as the founding CEO.