NZ PM pledges to help boost Samoa's tourism industry
The Prime Minister of New Zealand's three day visit to Samoa ends with tourism pledge of almost one million US dollars.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand has ended his three-day visit to Samoa with a pledge to boost the country's tourism industry.
As part of his Pacific Mission, John Key met with Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, to discuss New Zealand's future aid to Samoa.
Indira Moala reports.
Mr Key's visit to Samoa has ended on a positive high for the country with his announcement of further funding to help boost Samoa's tourism industry. Mr Key said New Zealand will spend almost $900,000 US dollars towards upgrading important visitor attractions.Dwayne Bentley, Marketing and Promotions Manager at Samoa Tourism Authority hosted John Key and his delegation around some of the country's most popular tourist attractions to end his trip to Samoa. He says the tourism industry was pleased to hear the news.
DWAYNE BENTLEY: It's fantastic news, I mean in terms of increasing Samoa's appeal as a visitor destination it bodes really well. I think that for us all, it's just about, just that whole partnership. Just making sure that it does make a meaningful contribution to Samoa's economic and social development.
During Mr Key's visit, the two prime ministers discussed New Zealand's future aid to Samoa. Mr Key says the Pacific has the basis for very good economies but there's a lot more work to be done.
JOHN KEY: It's improving but there's still an awful lot of development that needs to happen here. These are economies that have a variety of different challenges. So the real issue here is how can we make sure there are jobs for people to actually go to and stay.
Mr Key says the government's new Pacific ambassador will aim to find out where the best economic and development opportunities are and to ensure that jobs are created in those areas. The role of the ambassador to economic development in the Pacific will be filled by former parliament member, Shane Jones.
JOHN KEY: We see through a variety of different forms, tens of millions of dollars spent here in Samoa alone. Probably our overall aid in general contribution to Samoa is probably thirty million dollars. We spent half of our entire aid budget in the Pacific. So it sort of strikes me that as the donors of that aid, we want to make sure we're getting the maximum bang for our buck. And the most significant thing we can do outside of education for the people of the pacific is make sure they have an economic base.
Tuilaepa has praised John Key's financial support including nearly $5 million US dollars towards preparations for hosting the Small Island States Development conference. The event will be the biggest United Nations conference hosted this year with more than 3000 delegates attending from around the world. Tuilaepa says he has great hopes for the benefits SIDS will bring to Samoa
TUILAEPA SAILELE MALIELEGAOI: We are hoping that with the hosting of the SIDS conference the whole world will come for the 190-odd members of the United Nations will send their delegates and with that kind of exposure we do hope that more and more visitors will come.
Mr Key and his delegation arrived in Tonga yesterday evening and will also visit Niue on Thursday.
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