Posted inStory / Samoa

Private sectors need to be in the driver’s seat to rapidly develop island economies

Effects of climate change on tourism, agriculture and health affects islands’ economies

The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi opened the 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Forum in Apia, where he emphasized the effects of climate change on different sectors of the economy.

These sectors are namely tourism, local produce, food security and health.

Tuilaepa linked the different sectors and addressed a much broader issue that has been directly affecting the Pacific region, including the dependence on imported food products as opposed to the more government preferred local production.

“Our islands used to enjoy the availability of food, and such food security came from things like subsistence farming and local production. Now our food security is being eroded by the growth in reliance on imported goods,” he said.

PIPSO’s Chairperson Howard Politini shared the same view as the Prime Minister.

Politini says in order to push local produce and self-sufficiency in a country itself, its private sector must be in the driver’s seat.

“We are what they call the blood, tears and sweat of a country’s economy, and what we do determines the growth and abundance of wealth in a country,” he said.

“What the governments need to do is to continue bringing in their support and expert advice to the private sectors and by doing so, it should be ideal that whenever they draft laws, they must always review and reconsider, if they might affect the growth of the private sectors,” he added.

Politini says that while governments lead countries, it is the people that the governments depend on in order to grow. Normal everyday people like the farmers, the small business owners, and other private business operators in a country.

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