SAMOA TO DISCUSS MERITS OF ECONOMIC STIMULUS

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Does Samoa need one and what are the options?

By Alan Ah Mu

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Mar. 25, 2009) - Government wants a thorough discussion to take place before approving a stimulus package, said deputy Prime Minister, Misa Telefoni.

In a statement issued yesterday, ahead of the economic summit scheduled for this Friday, Misa said, "Government is determined not to rush into a stimulus package, as many other countries have done, only to have their hastily conceived policies fail miserably.

"This summit will allow a full and frank consultation with the whole private sector -- including the Council of Churches, SUNGO, Chamber of Commerce, SAME (Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters), and the visitor industry and farmers/fishing industry," he said.

"The outcomes of this summit will be written up as they are decided – and then given officially to Government in Cabinet for consideration."

To be held at the Development Bank of Samoa Conference Room, the economic summit was organized by a committee chaired by president of the Chamber of Commerce, Sina Retzlaff-Lima.

Members of the committee were mostly private sector representatives, Misa said.

Earlier this month, Mrs Retzlaff-Lima outlined the purpose of the economic summit.

She said "the main objective of the Economic Stimulus Forum is to facilitate a comprehensive consultation process with all sectors – public, private, civil societies, churches, as well our development partners - with a view of brainstorming ideas and bringing together all relevant issues to the discussion with a focus on [the questions]:

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