Setting competitive prices a major barrier for Samoa

Samoa’s High Commissioner to Australia, Hinauri Petana. (Photo: File)

APIA, 11 OCTOBER 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – Setting a competitive price when it comes to trade and investment is a major challenge that affects Samoa.

Given its geographical location, Samoa has to deal with high cost of freight and logisitics compared to other islands, says Trade and Investment Commissioner for Pacific Trade Invest, Caleb Jarvis.

“Once you add up all those costs, you still need to be competitive on your virgin coconut oil, compared to similar products out of Thailand or Philippines that can produce this much cheaper at huge volume, and have cheaper freight prices,” he said.

But Jarvis said a good well-priced consistent product will allow PTI to connect local businesses to buyers who will help in the exporting of locally manufactured products.

And this week, he is leading a group of Australian investors, buyers, labour mobility executives to engage with the local private sector and to learn more of products that would be of interest to them at the PTI Export, Trade and Investment Mission Business forum, which is held at the Taumeasina Island Resort.

Samoa’s High Commissioner to Australia, Hinauri Petana said forward planning and looking at how local exporters can keep and sustain the supply of their products.

“What we don’t want to see happening is three consecutive months of no containers and the next thing the buyers in Australia are waiting for the containers, which may come half filled,” she said.

“I think this is really an issue because we have an economic structure that is in place, which see more flights coming into Samoa than ever before, but at the end of the day it is getting the product across.”

Petana said Samoa has certainly progressed in a way with new technologies that allows for more efficient communication, but she emphasised that it still comes down to the question of whether we can sustain the supply chain.

Jarvis said having different sectors and organisations work together can help provide positive and successful outcomes for Samoa and the forum is a step in that direction.

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