Competition is not a foreign concept

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Dear Editor,

Interesting reading your article titled “P.M. says new chief another big fish.”

In the article he said: “If you go to these Chinese Shops, they are always crowded by Samoans.” 

“These are the people with low income, not the ones with a lot of money. They go there because they can buy of lot of things with only $10 not like the other shops.”

Correct, Mr PM.

Chinese businesses wouldn’t be so successful if Samoans were not buying all their goods and products. Usually the low-income Samoans. The ones featured in the Village Voice series.

I sometimes think that a lot of these anti-Chinese business stories are being driven by local business interests who have been around a long time and who are now scared of competition. 

Yet all this time they have been here, what happened to their prices? Did they ever go down? Did they ever help the cost of living of the low income Samoans? 

I am pretty sure that over the years I have been buying Elei shirts, the price of Elei shirts has quadrupled since the 1990s.

If the arrival of the Chinese businesses mean lower prices for the people in the villages, then so be it. 

They follow in the footsteps of the Afakasi businesses back in the 1950s and 1960s. Lower prices mean easier lives for our people. Samoans will shop around and if they don’t like what the Chinese make or the quality or whatever, then they will go and buy at other shops.

How come our people can compete when it comes to church-building and compete when it comes to giving money to the faifeau, yet when it comes to business, they cannot compete with the Chinese? 

Come on now. Competition is not a foreign concept for Samoans. 

The local business interests need to compete. They have access to the same loans from S.N.P.F. 

They have access to more family lands to use. They have local knowledge and local networks to exploit.

 

Petelo Suaniu 

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