Chinese influence, dominance in local retail outlets
“It’s a fact. More and more retail stores in Samoa are being run by new Chinese immigrants. What do you think? Are you concerned about it? Are you worried that there will come a time when no Samoan will ever own and operate a local store? Adel Fruean asked members of the public in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:
Rosalia Leti, 43, Vaivase Uta
I do not agree with the increasing number of Chinese stores in Samoa. I fully support our local business owners because I trust the service provided, especially the goods our people serve. We do not speak Chinese but most products they provide has the Chinese language on it, so that is too confusing. We are not aware of the contents of the products that we use or consume. I am just concerned about the health aspect of everything, our people need to live off the natural resources we have instead of depending on these imported goods provided by the Chinese stores.
Anitelea Leuo, 43, Vaitele
My main concern is the development of our nation being affected by the introduction of these numerous Chinese stores. We are all aware that these businesses will benefit the Chinese people and their own country. But our local businesses are no match to their competitive prices and goods sold here. I think that there needs to be a lot of support and initiatives to push local businesses to increase establishment in Samoa because it will not only benefit Samoa, but the people as well.
Eletise Misi, 46, Leulumoega
I have a different opinion though to these many Chinese businesses. I support the help of these Chinese shops to help the everyday lives of our people. Our people cannot afford the high cost of living so they depend on these shops because they offer affordable prices of goods. I strongly believe that they are helping our people, not everyone has the same situation in terms of the life each and every one of us lives. It is a way that lessens the burdens of so many families that are struggling.
Apaula Tavete, 28, Puapua
In my own perspective, our country is being dominated by these Chinese shops, and therefore has such a great effect on local businesses. It is evident with so many Samoans working in these shops, and this has led to a lack of support for our own local business owners, yet they are our very own people. Our people should be more supportive of our own country’s development, in that way we may benefit from it together.
Toga Auvaa, 51, Apia
I strongly believe that there is a great need to support local businesses in Samoa. There is a great lack of support for local businesses from government ministries and organisations. With the growth of Chinese stores in Samoa, there are more affordable items in offered in these Chinese shops, compared to what is being sold in local shops. It all comes down to the government and what they should be looking at in terms of helping its people.