Samoa’s economy is relatively poorly developed. The economy has largely been based on agriculture for self-sufficiency. Agriculture’s share of GDP and export value are declining. There is some small-scale industry, and tourism is progressing. Over 1/3 of the state’s income consists of foreign aid. In the period 1994–2003, GDP showed an average annual growth of 4.2%. In 2003, the service industries accounted for 56.6% of GDP. The public sector employed 20% of the workforce.
In recent years, agricultural production has been hit more frequently by very powerful hurricanes. production of coconut oil was down for several years due to. of natural damage after Hurricane Val.
The fall in prices of copra and other coconut products has also brought this traditional industry into crisis. Commercial fishing has shown strong growth since the late 1990s; fish amounted to 2,003 over 1/3 of our exports. The most important agricultural products are taro, cocoa, coconuts, papaya, pineapple and bananas. Otherwise, bread fruit, yams, corn, passion fruit and mango are grown. The livestock team includes cattle, goats, pigs and chickens. Samoa is far from self-sufficient in food, although to a large extent it was in the past. Today, around 1/3 of the food needs covered by imports.
The industrial sector is small and centered around the capital Apia. It is manufactured, inter alia, different products from the coconut palm, beer, cigarettes, confectionery, as well as some light industry and wood processing plus different products from the coconut palm. The industry grew sharply after 1992, when several foreign companies established themselves, among other things. Japanese companies with the production of cables and car parts and an American company with the clothing industry. In 2003, clothing and textiles accounted for almost 30% of goods exports. The Japanese Yazaki factory, which exports car parts, is Samoa’s largest private employer.
In recent years, coconut oil production has gained momentum due to new production methods and demand for biofuels.
The authorities were long awaiting tourism, fearing a negative influence on the traditional culture and way of life of Samoans. However, since the mid-1990s, tourism has been growing rapidly; 2005 visited approx. 102,000 tourists islands, hence close to 1/3 from American Samoa. The country’s largest tourist complex, a four-star hotel with 400 rooms is located just off Apia.
Main export products are clothing and textiles, fish, car parts, cocoa, taro, coconut products and bananas. Imports consist mainly of food, petroleum and industrial finished goods. The trade balance is very negative, with a large import surplus. The deficit is partly covered by tourism revenues, partly by financial assistance from New Zealand, Australia and Japan, but also by remittances from Samoans abroad. The latter corresponded to 20% of GDP in 2001, and it was more than three times greater than commodity exports.
According to Countryaah, Australia is by far Samoa’s most important trading partner, and since the turn of the millennium has been the buyer of approx. 3/4 of the exports. From New Zealand comes 1/5 of imports.
During the 1990s, Samoa provided tax and customs relief to export companies. The tax laws drew foreign capital to the country, but Samoan banks were accused of so-called money laundering. In 2000, after international pressure, restrictions were introduced in the financial sector to stop this traffic.
Transport and Communications
The number of motor vehicles increased by 7% annually in the period 1994–2004. The country has 790 km of main roads, of which 330 km are paved. The road network has been substantially expanded since the turn of the millennium. The main roads run along the coast; The best developed is the road network on the main island of Upolu. Due to large imports of used cars built for left-hand traffic, you will now (August 2009) switch to driving on the left side of the road. Samoa has a fixed ship connection with a number of countries. From Faleolo Airport (APW) at Upolu, 35 km from Apia, Air New Zealand, Pacific Blue (which took over state-owned Polynesian Airlines in 2008) and Fijis Air Pacific.