27 March 2013

NEWS RELEASE: ADB Welcomes Passage of Personal Property Securities Act in Samoa

APIA, SAMOA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) welcomes the passage yesterday of the Personal Property Securities Act, which will make it easier for people and businesses to secure loans, obtain credit, and conduct business. ADB supported the drafting of the legislation, which was prepared following extensive local consultations in the capital, Apia, and other districts. “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," said Auelua Enari, Samoa's Registrar of Companies and CEO of the Ministry of Commerce, Industries and Labor. “The registry will allow people to make safer and more informed purchases of vehicles, farm equipment, and other moveable assets," said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB's Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office.
“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.” The Act was introduced as part of the Government’s emphasis on facilitating business development by modernizing business laws and increasing access to finance opportunities in Samoa. 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. 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. ADB is working closely with the Government of Samoa to help modernize business laws and increase access to finance opportunities. 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. In 2013 alone, ADB has already worked with Samoa to launch an online company registry, and is also advising the government on competition policy reforms. Find out more.