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Economy of Samoa

The economy of Samoa is dependent on agricultural exports, development aid and private remittances from overseas. The country is vulnerable to devastating storms. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the labor force, and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring coconut cream, coconut oil and copra. Outside of a large automotive wire harness factory, the manufacturing sector mainly processes agricultural products. Tourism is an expanding sector; more than 70,000 tourists visited the islands in 1996. The Samoan Government has called for deregulation of the financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline. Observers point to the flexibility of the labor market as a basic strength factor for future economic advances.

Trade

New Zealand is Samoa's principal trading partner, typically providing between 35% and 40% of imports and purchasing 45%-50% of exports. Australia, American Samoa, the United States, and Fiji are also important trading partners. Its main imports are food and beverages, industrial supplies, and fuels. The primary sector (agriculture, forestry, and fishing) employs nearly two-thirds of the labor force and produces 17% of GDP. Samoa's principal exports are coconut products and fish.

Manufacturing

Industry accounts for over one-quarter of GDP while employing less than 6% of the work force. The largest industrial venture is Yazaki Samoa, a Japanese-owned company processing automotive wire harnesses for export to Australia under a concessional market-access arrangement. The Yazaki plant employs more than 2,000 workers and makes up over 20% of the manufacturing sector's total output. Net receipts amount to between $1.5 million and $3.03 million annually, although shipments from Yazaki are counted as services (export processing) and therefore do not officially appear as merchandise exports.

Tourism

Tourism numbers and revenue have doubled in the last decade. Samoa received 122,000 visitors in 2007. About 40% came from New Zealand, 21% from American Samoa and 7% from the United States. Samoans living overseas accounted for more than half of all tourist numbers. The service sector accounts for more than half of GDP and employs approximately 30% of the labor force.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Samoa"

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