Samoa govt raises alarm over unapproved overseas business ventures

The Samoa government has issued a warning about business operations that have been launched in Hong Kong.

They include a so-called a Samoa Stock Exchange, a Samoa Digital Asset Exchange and an Oceania Special Economic Zone, all of which the government says it has not endorsed or approved.

"Despite what has been circulating on social media, the Government of Samoa confirms that it has not given any endorsement or approval of such an initiative," a statement from the Prime Minister's office said.

It said applications it has received regarding these initiatives were being reviewed and appraised by the relevant authorities.

The government said it welcomed any form of new investments that would improve and benefit Samoa's economy and people.

But it must ensure such initiatives are safe, sound, and feasible.

"Proposals of this nature require proper frameworks in place to regulate the exchange platform and protect market users and investors."

The government said it was taking a "cautious approach" concerning any proposals related to Digital Assets (also known as virtual assets or cryptocurrency) Exchanges.

This was because of the global experiences that such exchanges can be used in scams and money laundering.

Samoa also needs to comply with the appropriate international standards that apply to these types of exchanges, it stated.

The government said it will be in a position to make an informed decision once the feasibility study is completed and thoroughly vetted.

"The government will not endorse or give any license approvals of such proposals before then."