APIA, Samoa (Radio Australia, Jan. 1) - In Samoa, the opposition party has warned the island nation's economy is heading for a downturn.

Opposition leader Le Mamea Ropati has raised concerns about the rise in inflation and a decline in foreign reserves.

Ropati has blamed the recent introduction of a 2.5 percent Goods and Services Tax for the high cost of living.

He says the country's foreign reserves have also declined significantly.

In December’s budget address, Deputy Prime Minister Misa Telefoni asked Parliament for an additional half a million dollars for the remaining six months of the financial year.

Telefoni says Samoa's real Gross Domestic Product grew by one percent this year, compared to eight percent in 2001 and the Government is working on ways to improve the country's economic situation.

January 1, 2002

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia. 

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