The Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters (S.A.M.E) was part of an international exhibition of various goods and services by a Chinese business from Guandong, last week.
It was a two-day event that took place at the Taumeasina Island Resort.
The event aimed to draw interest from the S.A.M.E. members to be able to develop ongoing business relationships with their Chinese counterparts.
This was according to the President of S.A.M.E., Tagaloa Eddie Wilson.
He said S.A.M.E. has been a strong advocate for expanding and strengthening partnership between Samoa and its trade partners.
“With the support of the embassy and the number of our members, we’re able to travel to China to observe and experience developments in the clothing and garment industries,” he said.
“The exchanging of ideas is a key element for Samoa’s manufacture export sector in a search for achieving world class standards in regard to various qualities insurance programme that we are undertaking, such as the food safety international standard, the international standards for the exports and as well as the administrative efficiency in other global competitiveness areas.”
“Traditionally S.A.M.E’s membership have been made up of predominantly businesses involved in processing products such as nonu, coconut, taro, cocoa and plants in which we called cultural innovation (such as handicrafts and etc.).”
Tagaloa added that more recently much of the growth of the private sector manufacturing exporter have come from garments, handicrafts and cultural innovative areas.
“The merging areas of Samoa rest in moving greater value at processing the needs of a very demanding consumer marketing and especially the merging products such as cocoa, organic coconut as well as exotic crops such as turmeric, vanilla and ava.”
“In terms of trade our recent central bank of Samoa statistics of March 2018, Samoa export approximately 1 percent of this export to china which approximately $1 million tala and the figure was much higher.”
“We are working with our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to look at bilateral trade to remove a tariff on imported products from Samoa,” he added.
“Our imports from China is increasing and the latest statistics tells us on average of the last 12 months is about 10 percent of Samoa’s import which our average import throughout 800 million per year which is equivalent to $18 million tala.”