PM acknowledged slow and surely recovering economy as reported by the I.M.F.


Government has taken on board the findings and recommendations by the International Monetary Fund to assist the country with the Post COVID-19 recovery reforms.

And the Government response, according to Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa is inclusive with the public and private sectors both contributing to formulate and roll out effective monetary policies and frameworks that will minimize any drastic and unnecessary effects on local residents. 

In an interview with the Government Press Secretariat and Savali Newspaper, Prime Minister Fiame acknowledged the welcoming signs of a slow and surely recovering economy reported by the I.M.F. team after their annual consultation in January with the Government and Private Finance Sectors which included, commercial banks, lending institutions and Money Transfer Operators. 

In particular, she welcomes the I.M.F. findings, which showed that during the three months period under review, (Oct-Dec. 2022) the local inflation rate dropped by 50% to 7.5 from the previous high of 15.0 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And she attributed the drop to Samoa’s opening of her international borders after more than 2 years as a result of the pandemic citing this as the cause of the local economy bouncing back prompted by the surge of relatives from overseas and visitors. 

Like other economics, the Prime Minister says that Samoa is no exemption from the post-COVID-19 status quo but our local situation is further compounded, due to the country’s isolation which contributed to additional costs in terms of freight costs coupled with the menacing increase in world petroleum prices which are among the main contributing factors compounding Samoa’s plight. 

Aside from the inflation drop, the report also welcomed the Government’s renewed policy to maintain Samoa’s Foreign Debts at not more than 50% of her annual receipts or revenues. 

As of January, Samoa’s Foreign Debts account for 45% of her annual receipts down from 51% when the Fiame Administration came into office.

And latest reports show that the Government’s Foreign Debt is under $1 billion tala.

For the current fiscal year, the Governments approved Statutory Expenditures Budget is a little over $130 million tala. And over 80% of that budgeted allocation will pay Government debts and loans.

Samoa’s Foreign Reserves account is also healthy reassures the Prime Minister.

At the last report in January, the Government’s Foreign Reserve was in the $800 million tala neighbourhood, adequate to cover exports for the country’s needs for 8 months.

“Like any responsible Government, rest assured the horrors from the past when we did not have sufficient funds to procure petrol and food imports will remain in the past,” she reiterated. 

As for access to finances and policies to help the Private Finance Sector, the Prime Minister says that Government also welcomes recommendations from the I.M.F. for the Central Bank of Samoa to revisit and loosen up her local monetary policies and regulations.

She is receptive to the suggestion for the Central Bank to impose regulatory money policies to strengthen access by the public to finance but with the same token, the Prime Minister pointed out that there should be monitoring conditions that will enable to Central Bank to take appropriate actions if there are issues and problems.

And for the public, Fiame did not shy away from the Government’s $1 million tala Development initiative for the 51 Electoral Constituencies describing the bold initiative as a “genuinely inclusive” mandate by the Government for everyone to invest in the future of their families, communities and their government.

“Government is planting the seeds for what we envision as a new beginning for electorates to learn the value of investments in their future, their families and their communities,” she said noting that like any new ideas, there will be teething problems but with the same token, she is confident that the Governments’ inclusive approach will bear fruit. 

SOURCE: Savali