28 Mar 2006

Samoa attorney general highlights importance of American Samoan canneries

3:36 pm on 28 March 2006

Samoa's attorney general Brenda Heather-Latu says the continued operation of American Samoa's two tuna canneries are vital to her country.

At the opening of the Samoa Consulate in Pago Pago over the weekend, Ms Heather-Latu says exports from Samoa to the tuna canneries, StarKist Samoa and COS Samoa Packing, amounted to 2.5 million US dollars in 2004 and in 2003 is 3.7 million.

The two canneries, which are the largest private employer in the territory, have a combined workforce of about 5,000 - 80 percent of whom are from Samoa.

Ms Heather-Latu also says American Samoa offers a good market for Samoa produce, such as taro, bananas and ta'amu or Chinese taro.

She says over the past ten years there has been an improvement in Samoa's agriculture exports to American Samoa with more efficient sea transportation.

She says closer cooperation and better communication between the two governments and the respective private sectors will further enhance these mutually beneficial commercial links.