The village Council of Iva, Savai’i, has joined the list of villages in Samoa to ban Chinese-owned shops from operating in their village.
This was confirmed by Iva’s Village mayor, Seve Luki, Samoa Observer reports. In doing so, Iva joined Salelologa village which also has banned Chinese shops from operating in the village and setting up their businesses on customary land.
Seve denied that the decision was discriminatory. Rather, he said they want to protect future business prospects for the villagers.
“Our village had a meeting and we all agreed that no Chinese shops are allowed to be set up in Iva,” Seve said.
“Our concern is that if we allow foreign businesses to be established now, our future generations will not be able to have access to the land when they grow up because these foreigners would have taken them all.
“That’s why we’ve decided that this is the best time to put a stop to the setting up of foreign businesses before it becomes a problem in the future and everyone would be affected.
“Most importantly, we want to push our own local businesses.”
Seve explained that the decision followed an incident where the village found out that a Chinese-owned shop was being set up.
“I don’t want to go in details of what happened because the family who leased their shop to the Chinese business operator has already been penalized by the village.
“And now the village council agreed to operate the Chinese shop but with certain conditions.
That includes the shop being the first and the last Chinese shop to operate in the village.