Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Senator the Hon. Brett Mason inspecting a damaged bridge at Leone near Apia in Samoa. Senator Mason used this opportunity to announce a package of $20 million dollars of assistance to Samoa to build economic infrastructure throughout the country. Photo: DFAT.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Brett Mason, has announced a $20 million dollar economic infrastructure program for Samoa, which aims to drive economic growth and create jobs.
The eight year program will include improvements to roads, bridges and IT communications. It is a key part of Australia’s economic diplomacy strategy in Samoa.
'The productive sectors of the economy need better infrastructure to grow. Poor quality infrastructure raises the cost of doing business, and damages competitiveness,' Senator Mason said.
Senator Mason made the announcement at Leone Bridge in Apia. The bridge, which was damaged during Cyclone Evan in 2012, is a vital link between the port and the business district. Some of the funding will cover repairs to this bridge and other key sections of the road network.
Funding will also contribute to the cost of a new submarine cable to improve internet connections in Samoa. A public private partnership is expected to assist with the cable funding and providing wholesale internet services.
Investments in infrastructure assets will all be delivered through the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The Banks provide infrastructure expertise, project management and fiduciary safeguards for Australia.
The program will also incentivise Samoa to undertake key policy and regulatory reforms on sustainable infrastructure, budgeting, and the participation of the private sector in infrastructure ownership and operation.