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20 July 2016

Trade Study Workshop Opens

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi officially opened the Diagnostic Trade Integrated Study (DTIS) Update Validation Workshop held at the TATTE conference room this morning.

The Diagnostic Trade Integration Study assessed the trade related aspects of Samoa’s economy and later became the basis of developing the Samoa Trade, Commerce and Manufacturing Sector Plan.

The DTIS Update is a project funded under the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Secretariat Programme, of which Samoa has been a beneficiary since 2006.

Samoa was able to undertake the first DTIS update in 2010.

The main objectives of the project were to mainstream trade into national development plans, access trade related technical assistance to help with implementation and build capacity to trade supply side constraints.

“Samoa’s economic sector has been one of the key priority areas in the Strategy for the Development of Samoa over the past ten years,” said Tuilaepa.

“Strategic interventions include those targeted to revitalize exports, support agriculture and manufacturing, create an enabling environment for business development, develop the private sector and to facilitate beneficial international trade.”

Susuga Tuilaepa opened the first workshop six years ago when the first DTIS was validated, and this morning announced some projects of note that have since been implemented:

  • The set up of a National Implementation Unit in 2013 (Trade, Commerce, and Manufacturing Coordination Unit) and Capacity building and institutional strengthening through the Tier 1 funding window, a total project support of US$1.1 million;
  • Trade Sector Support Programme – building production and supply;
  • Specific projects for STEC, Women in Business, Chamber of Commerce and SROS through the Tier 2 funding window, with a total of US$3.5 million;
  • Support to the overall implementation of the Trade, Commerce and Manufacturing (TCM) Sector Plan and related trade activities including support to trade negotiations;
  • EIF provided support for private sector development in promoting local businesses through the two Samoa Trade Fairs and the SIDS conference held in Samoa in 2014.

“The DTIS is an important document as it will provide direction and identify the key priorities for the next Trade, Commerce and Manufacturing Sector Plan as did the DTIS 2010 for the current plan,” said Tuilaepa.

Tuilaepa also said the updated report includes reference to the constant threat of natural disasters and the impacts of climate change on Samoa’s trade regime and growth.

He also said that the Government’s strategic economic interventions will focus on increasing exports in agri-products, commerce, investment and labour mobility; and will also build productivity and supply of agriculture and fisheries, employment creation as well as continue to build public-private partnerships.

To the workshop participants, Tuilaepa challenged them to take ownership of this updated DTIS to ensure that recommended actions are relevant and inclusive of Samoa’s economic priorities.

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