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By Tuifa‘asisina Peter Rees

APIA, Samoa (December 4, 2000 - Samoa Observer/PINA Nius Online)---A Fiji builder believes Samoa will have one of the healthiest economies in the Pacific in about a decade.

Anil Kumar, a foreman with the Topik Builders Company responsible for constructing the new Magik 2 Cinema complex on Convent Street behind the Morris Hedstrom building, says: "In ten years time there will be a boom in the economy here." He bases his prediction on the rate of progress that he has witnessed and the new projects currently under construction.

This includes the one he has been working on with 13 workers since October of this year.

The two-theater complex, a joint operation owned by local businessman Maposua Rudolf Keil and Fiji-based Village Cinemas, should be completed next year by the second or third week of March.

The 49-year-old Kumar, from Lautoka, has traveled extensively all over the Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand, and has seen first hand the rate of development. But he feels Samoa, in particular, is heading in the right direction.

"A few years down the line and Samoa will be comparable to Fiji, especially in its civic development," Kumar explains.

Kumar says he may be involved in building a similar project in Papua New Guinea after the completion of the Samoa project.

He adds that the new theaters will open up new business opportunities, which could only be good for the country.

Being away from his wife and two children has not fazed Kumar. He is enjoying his first time in Samoa and says the construction phase has gone along smoothly.

"I love it here. I miss home but I’m really enjoying my time here. Besides the rain, everything is going fine," he adds. There has been no friction between the Fijian and Samoan workers and there is a close bond that has developed, he said.

All the Fiji workers are living in temporary housing at the Savalalo site.

Kumar has been in the building business for over 25 years and received his training from the Fiji National Training Council.

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