20 Feb 2013

American Samoa Governor makes economic development priority

11:11 am on 20 February 2013

The American Samoa governor says the priority for his new administration is job creation.

Lolo Matalasi Moliga recently wrote to the United States Department of Interior saying his administration has made economic development the number one priority due to the growing unemployment rate in the territory and the continuing drop in Gross Domestic Product.

Governor Lolo says the emphasis is on creating jobs, with the initial short term objective on nurturing existing businesses through the elimination of barriers and territorial government bureaucracy, which diminish business efficiency and profitability.

He says the continued existence of StarKist Samoa, the largest private employer in the territory with a workforce of about two thousand people, is threatened by the looming risk connected to the resumption of federally mandated minimum wage hikes in the territory, which ends in September 2015.