24 Aug 2006

Private sector identified as key to American Samoa's economic future

9:52 am on 24 August 2006

American Samoa's Interior Department says the private sector could be the agent for change in moving the territory's economy forward.

The deputy assistant secretary for Insular Areas David B Cohen, said the sector has great potential to improve trade relations and allow other islands to access the US markets.

He said the private sector has to set the pace and the government should be catching up with the private sector, and not the other way round.

Mr Cohen suggested the private sector get a head start in diversifying the territory's economy which currently depends mostly on the canneries.