The Samoan economy continues to face substantial challenges in the post-Tsunami and world financial crisis environment. Economic growth remains sluggish and the public debt that was accumulated in the aftermath of the natural disaster has now exceeded its medium-term target of 50 percent of GDP. In this context, we note the authorities’ full recognition of the policy challenges that lie ahead and their plans to address the need for fiscal consolidation. These plans were already well progressed but further benefited from Staff input during the recent Article IV mission. The Samoan authorities welcomed the Staff assessment and advice, and attach particular importance to obtaining the technical assistance highlighted in the Staff Report to facilitate implementation of key Fund recommendations. The authorities also want to express their appreciation for the frank, constructive, and collegiate approach to the discussions adopted by Staff.