Samoa: Doing business & staying in touch

Doing business in Samoa

Shirt and smart trousers will suffice for business visits. Ties need only be worn for formal occasions. Best time to visit is from May to October.

Office hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1300-1630.

Economy

Fishing and subsistence agriculture are important sources of income and employment for most Samoans.

The government has concentrated on tourism and export-oriented manufacturing in its efforts to develop the economy. Tourism now contributes 17% of GDP, with 90,000 visitors arriving annually.

The government has also, with some success, sought to promote an offshore financial services industry. Further income comes from the remittances of Samoans working overseas - mostly in New Zealand and, to a lesser extent, in Australia; both these two countries also provide Samoa with a sizeable aid package.

The economy is now growing at 5.5% annually, with inflation at 3.3% in 2005.

GDP

US$387 million (2007).

Main exports

Coconut products, fish, copra, taro and automotive parts.

Main imports

Machinery and equipment, industrial supplies and foodstuffs.

Main trading partners

Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Fiji and Japan.

Keeping in Touch in Samoa

Telephone

There are no area codes. Outgoing international calls must be made through the operator.

Mobile phone

Samoa has its own analogue mobile phone system operated by Telecom Samoa. Visitors with analogue phones can be assigned a new number for the duration of their stay and calls will be charged to their credit card.

Internet

Internet and e-mail services are available in Apia and other locations around the islands. Broadband Internet cafes are available in Apia and Savai'i.

Post

Airmail to Europe takes about three weeks.

Post office hours

(main, located on Beach Road, Apia) Mon-Fri 0800-1630.

Media

Despite a generally free press, officials in Samoa have sued the main privately owned newspaper, the Samoa Observer, for reporting on alleged corruption and abuse of public office. The government and private operators run TV stations and channels from American Samoa are readily available.

Press

• The Samoa Observer is a privately owned daily.
Le Samoa and Talamua magazine are published in both Samoan and English.

Television

• State-run TV is operated by the Samoa Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).
• Private channels include O Lau TV, TV3 and Vaiala Beach Television.

Radio

• The SBC runs mediumwave and FM stations.
• Other stations include Magik FM, K-Lite FM and Talofa FM.

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