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Author: Nikhil Sharma

American Samoa seeking to make progress in getting its economy diversified

The American Samoa Government recently got access to the second insurance payment for damages from Tropical Storm Gita, according to the Insurance Commissioner Peter Fuimaono. The government’s total claim to insurer, Lloyds of London, for damages to government facilities stands at $15 million, out of which, a $5 million payment had been received last year. The federal funds are expected to continue providing short term relief and stability with the territory still struggling with a potential economic disaster. A week earlier, a draft economic development strategy released by the American Samoa Commerce Department called for diversification of the economy...

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Despite some economic expansion, American Samoa’s economy heading for decline

The American Samoa Economic Forecast (ASEF) 2019 forecasted a decrease in the real gross domestic product (GDP) of American Samoa this year through 2022. The report also estimated direct and indirect damage costs of up to $186 million across the territory caused due to the Tropical Storm Gita. The United States government and numerous international nonprofit organizations have provided millions of dollars in aid to assist in recuperating the various affected sectors of the economy. The report provides practical insights into the local market activity and other economic trends that will be useful for the businesses and policy makers...

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Samoa’s cancellation of open skies agreement could affect travel to American Samoa

The United States Department of Transportation issued a notice on March 11 notifying the US carriers that hold blanket open-skies route authority of the exclusion of Samoa from the Department of Transportation’s list of Open Skies Agreement Currently Being Applied. Brian J. Hedberg, director of USDOT’s Office of International Aviation said that the US carriers have been informed that the certificate will no longer be valid 120 days from the issue date of the notice, i.e., with effect from July 9, 2019. Samoa withdrew as a party to the Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalization of International Air Transportation (MALIAT)...

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Natural disasters, shutdown increase American Samoa’s need for federal funds

Lolo Matalasi Moliga (D), Governor of American Samoa, requested that the United States Senate approve funding for the territory’s infrastructure needs which he said were numerous and consisted of both the restoration or service of the existing units and development of new facilities. Among other stated requirements, Lolo called for $5 million for dredging at Faleasao and Ta’u in the Manu’a island group and another $5 million for the construction of a dock in the group to attract more fishing vessels. This comes roughly two weeks after American Samoa’s call to the US Senate for increased support with food...

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American Samoa placed in European Union’s tax havens list

The European Union adopted a new list of 12 countries and 11 jurisdictions, including American Samoa, to reduce the scope of money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to increase their efforts in due diligence when dealing with customers and financial institutions from the listed countries and jurisdictions. American Samoa was already included in a separate EU blacklist of tax havens. The list has been adopted by the Commission in the way of Delegated Regulation and will be submitted to The European Parliament and Council for approval...

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