31 Mar 2011

Samoa call to probe Chinese migrants' papers

9:58 am on 31 March 2011

There's a call in Samoa for immigration and labour checks to be made amid a growth of new Chinese businesses.

The Chamber of Commerce in Apia has raised concerns about the large number of new Chinese retails stores, suggesting that Foreign Investment Act provisions may be flouted.

The Samoa Observer newspaper editor, Mata'afa Keni Lesa, says many Chinese retailers offer lower prices and make it difficult for established businesses to compete.

"If these guys have the proper papers, and that what they are doing is legal then we have no problem. But if we find that some of them are just sneaking through the system and setting up businesses without real papers, then we have got a real problem."

Mata'afa Keni Lesa says Chinese embassy officials had asked for stories about the Chamber's concerns not to be published in the Observer.

He says the Chinese embassy was worried the story could incite anti-Chinese sentiments.