Samoa

Region: Oceania-Polynesia

Capital: Apia

Population: 183,900 (UNDP 2011)

Surface area: 2,944 sq km

Currency: tala (SAT)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $6000 (2011 -CIA est.)

Background:
New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Western Samoa at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It continued to administer the islands as a mandate and then as a trust territory until 1962, when the islands became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the “Western” from its name in 1997.

Economy – overview:
The economy of Samoa has traditionally been dependent on development aid, family remittances from overseas, agriculture, and fishing. The country is vulnerable to devastating storms. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the labour force and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring coconut cream, coconut oil, and copra. The manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products. One factory in the Foreign Trade Zone employs 3,000 people to make automobile electrical harnesses for an assembly plant in Australia. Tourism is an expanding sector accounting for 25% of GDP; 122,000 tourists visited the islands in 2007. In late September 2009, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami severely damaged Samoa, and nearby American Samoa, disrupting transportation and power generation, and resulting in about 200 deaths. The Samoan Government has called for deregulation of the financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline, while at the same time protecting the environment. Observers point to the flexibility of the labour market as a basic strength for future economic advances. Foreign reserves are in a relatively healthy state, the external debt is stable, and inflation is low. (CIA, 2012)

Major Export Commodities: fish, coconut oil and cream, copra, taro, automotive parts, garments, beer

Remittances: Not available

Human Development Index 2011 ranking: 99 of 187 countries.

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA 147 million USD. Major development partners include: Australia, Japan, AsDB special funds, New Zealand, IDA (Source: OECD 2010)

Total External Debt: US $235.5 million (December 2009 – CIA, est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 72.2 years (UNDP 2011)

Environmental Indicators:

                                               Endangered Species (as a % of total): 12

                                               Forested Area (percentage of land area): 60.4

                                               CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 0.9

                                               (Data Source: UNDP 2011)

United Nations Membership date: 15 December 1976

New York Mission:

Permanent Mission of the Independent State of Samoa to the United Nations

800 Second Avenue, Suite 400J

New York, N.Y.10017USA

Telephone: 212-599-6196, 6197

Fax: 212-599-0797, Website: http://www2.un.int/public/Samoa/

Sources:

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov

World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org

Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org

Human Development Report 2011.United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org

Updated July 2012