With more and more foreign-owned stores opening up in the country, there have been mixed opinions on whether this is good for the people or not.
It’s an issue Filisi Sa’u, 27, from the village of Apolima is aware of.
The young man explains that there are those who still believe that foreign-owned stores provide people with cheaper and affordable goods but this is not the case.
He feels that there is no difference in the cost of goods sold by the Chinese and the locally-owned stores. According to him, they are both similar and expensive.
“The one thing I have noticed in Samoa and in these rural villages are the many Chinese shops popping up everywhere,” Mr. Sa’u told the Village Voice team yesterday.
“There are those who say it’s good because they bring cheap and affordable goods for us but I believe that’s not the case. If you actually compare the costs of the goods sold in Chinese shops with the goods sold in the Samoan stores, there is no difference.
“They are both pretty expensive and many people find it hard to afford basic necessities.”
Asked if there is any specific store that he believes is becoming too expensive, Mr. Sa’u simply said they were all expensive and affordability was becoming an issue.
“It’s not just one or two goods or stores that are becoming more and more unaffordable for the people, all the goods sold at the shops are expensive,” he said.
“Each year we find out that many different goods are sold at a higher price than the previous year and it’s becoming a real burden on the people.
“We really need to look into the constant rise in prices because people cannot afford such a high cost of living. Times are definitely getting tougher.”
On the other hand, Mr. Sa’u explains that although foreign and locally-owned stores are similar in costs, the only difference is the quality of goods.
He says the Samoan people should always consider locally-owned stores over foreign-owned ones.
“Both types of stores are similar in costs but there is a difference between the two,” he said.
“For me personally, I would rather go to the Samoan-owned stores because not only do I want to support the local people, they also give better quality goods.
“We Samoans understand each other and that is why the stores owned locally will try and sell better quality items to the people rather than just anything they can get cheaply and turn a profit with.
“And again, we should always try to support our locals by buying at their stores.”
Asked about the general life in rural areas, Mr. Sa’u says everything is great and much of the credit belongs to the village council for keeping everything in order.
As for his personal lifestyle, Mr. Sa’u explains that his one and only duty is to serve those he loves at home.
“I am currently single because I need to put my family first,” he said.
“Just like many other young people, I am the one who helps a lot around the house. Serving those at home is my one duty that I take seriously.
“I actually just finished my morning chores and I’ve come here to see the school celebrations.”