15 Jan 2008

Samoa MP criticises favouring foreign company in Savaii market tender

2:31 pm on 15 January 2008

An opposition MP in Samoa has criticised the government for awarding a construction job to a foreign company.

Levaopolo Talalelei says he is concerned that the contract to build a new public market in Salelologa on Savaii Island has gone to a Chinese construction company.

Levaopolo says he is worried that if the cost of the project is two million US dollars then the Chinese builders will spend much of the money overseas and not locally.

However, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment responsible for the project, Faumuina Liuga, has defended the government decision.

The minister has told parliament the Chinese company is registered in Samoa and it has legal rights to compete in tenders.

But another opposition MP, Mulipola Oliva, says Chinese builders won't purchase local bricks because they make their own and keep the money.