REMARKS: Samoa Minister for Commerce, Industry & Labour Keynote speech at Samoa E-Commerce Strategy Launch

Keynote Address by Samoa’s Minister for Commerce, Industry & Labour

Honourable Leatinu’u Wayne So’oialo

Launch of Samoa E-Commerce Strategy & Roadmap, 30 September 2022

 

Ole’ā lelepa ia fa’a va’atiu le mamalu o le saofa’iga, faigatā o lele ua pi’ioa le aleaga a Tautai pei o le fesilafa’iga i Si’utila ma Ululā. Auā e talitonu le taofi o Samoa ua uma ona tofi e leai fo’i se tautai e toe utuvaitofo i ai. O le ao e ma-i-mala, a o le ūa na fa’alanu-ma’ave’ave auā e sapi i lana tu ae tiu i lana aga.

Lau susuga i le ta’ita’i o le sauniga,

Afioga i le Sui Minisita o le Matagaluega o Pisinisi Alamanuia ma Leipa,

Fa’auluuluga o Matagaluega a le Malo ma Pisinisi Tumaoti,

Sui Komesina o le Ofisa o Ausetalia i Samoa

Faauluuluga o tatou paaga mai fafo, Failautusi Aoao o le Pacific Forum Island Secretariat, o loo auai mai i luga o upega tafailagi

Le mamalu o le au valaaulia ua tatou mafuta i lenei afiafi,

Malo lava le lagi e mama ma le soifua laulelei.

Ae o le a ou tautala i le fa’amoemoe ua mafua ai lenei mafutaga i le gagana peretania auā tatou malo fa’aaloalogia.

 

Rev Mariota Siaea

Associate Minister of Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour

Heads of Government and Private Organisations

Assistant High Commissioner of Australia in Samoa

Secretary General of the Pacific Forum Island Secretariat

Distinguished guests and participants

I have the pleasure in welcoming you all who have gathered today to witness this important event of launching Samoa’s National Ecommerce Strategy and Roadmap.

I am certain you will agree with me when I say that Ecommerce is central to this day and age where economic development cannot thrive without the application of the buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet. The fact that this Strategy is taking place at a time of global uncertainty particularly with the impacts of Covid-19 which has not spared our region, economies, communities and people makes it an ideal timing.

The global pandemic continues to have direct wholesale impacts on key sectors of our economy. It has had detrimental impacts on private sector development, trade and investment, tourism, infrastructure and construction, health and education, amongst others. The pressures and unpredictable nature of the Global pandemic, exacerbated by the adverse impacts of climate change and other traditional challenges, continues to test our resolve as a nation, we need to be able to build back better and be smarter in how we apply ourselves. We need to be innovative because we have seen how paralyzed a country like Samoa can be. We need to be proactive, as digital transformation is already happening, transforming vast parts of our internal economies and we want to remain masters of our digital destiny.

Despite the many challenges faced and the never-ending obstacles, we can be proud of the significant strides we continue to make in implementing innovative processes and taking on board practicable measures to move our economies to the next level which is why I am delighted to release Samoa’s first Ecommerce Strategy and Roadmap. The project is one of the first to be implemented under the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap adopted in August 2021 by Forum Trade Ministers Meeting.

We recognize the formidable potential of E-commerce in Samoa by producing domestic and cross-border trade opportunities and substantial assistance to MSME’s and families hit hard during COVID19. The Ecommerce Strategy and Roadmap will allow us to consider digital platforms to promote goods and services and boost productivity across the economy, ease the constraints associated with Samoa’s remoteness from major markets, expand the scope for e-commerce, trade in services and entrepreneurialism, increase digital financial literacy and access to financial services. The strategy focusses on those measures that can best be delivered through collective action, thus, complementing the national efforts and strategies that are in place.

I acknowledge with gratitude the collaborative partnership, valuable assistance and support provided by the Government of Australia through Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT), our regional organizations – the Pacific Forum Secretariat and consultancy agency TradeWorthy Ltd, and all stakeholders for their appreciated contribution.

Moving forward into the implementation phase will require immense cooperation amongst leaders in both government, non-government agencies and the private sector. The government of Samoa will ensure mechanisms are in place, at institutional and regulatory levels to ensure the strategy is adopted and budgeted that its implementation goes through a monitoring and evaluation process and is harmonized with collective actions taken at the regional level.

Soifua.