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Cabinet approves the establishment of the Samoa Export Authority

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA 24 JANUARY 2023: Cabinet has approved the establishment of the Samoa Export Authority (SEA).

This was confirmed by the Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Tevaga Iosefo Ponifasio.

He said export development was one of the Government’s initiatives highlighted in its manifesto and the project will kick-start under the Samoa Trust Estates Corporation (STEC) facility and priority is given to the export of agricultural to start off with.

He said the long term goal of the Government is for all local export products to be included in the program using the existing Buy Samoa Made label.

The establishment of the Authority is the Government’s response to farmers and local businesses drive to export their products.

“The Government’s wish is to make export access easier for local businesses to export their products by way of connecting with international markets, and that there is enough products for exports,” said Tuala.

The Authority will also ensure that trade agreements, product standards and criteria for export between local exporters and the international markets are met.

During the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) international conference hosted in Samoa in November 2022, the Minister for Agriculture & Fisheries, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao pointed out the importance of having such an Authority to cater for Samoa’s local businesses in developing export products.

Since then, and during the ATOA o Samoa talks, Samoa and American Samoa agreed for local meat products to be exported to American Samoa.

The government had been pushing the Talomua – First Harvest Festival to ensure local food security and also have enough products to supply the markets for the Samoan diaspora.

With Cabinet giving the green light for the Samoa Export Authority to proceed, Tuala said it is the SEA’s duty to secure overseas markets access for local exporters.