New Samoan Act to facilitate better access to finance
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), which helped draft Samoa’s Personal Properties Securities Act, says the passage Act will make it easier for people and businesses to secure loans, obtain credit, and conduct business.<!--more-->
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Auelua Enari, Samoa’s Registrar of Companies and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Commerce, Industries and Labour said, “The new Act really helps small business and those people just starting out in business who may have the skills but not sufficient assets to secure a business loan.”
The Act was introduced as part of the Samoan Government’s emphasis on facilitating business development by modernising business laws and increasing access to finance opportunities. Rural people in particular will be able to save time and money by using the online registry instead of physically traveling to register or check collateral. The legislation was prepared following extensive local consultations in the capital, Apia, and other districts.
Andrea Iffland, ADB’s Regional Director of Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office said, “The registry will allow people to make safer and more informed purchases of vehicles, farm equipment, and other moveable assets. Once up and running, the new registry may be accessed via a website, and buyers can search it to ensure money isn’t owed on prospective purchases. Individuals and companies will be better protected when buying items and obtaining clear title.”
In Samoa, 80 per cent of land is customary title, making securing loans with moveable assets even more important. The Act has strong support from the commercial banking sector in Samoa, which participated in the extensive consultation process.
The Personal Property Securities Act assistance that ADB provided is part of the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), financed by ADB and Australia. PSDI is supporting the efforts of ADB Pacific developing member countries to encourage private sector led, sustainable economic growth.
ADB has worked with Samoa to launch an online company registry, and is also advising the government on competition policy reforms.