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Samoa

Apia

The Independent State of Samoa comprises ten islands positioned northeast of New Zealand and southwest of Hawaii. Samoa has displayed great political and economic stability over the past 50 years and, with relatively low labour costs, a favourable exchange rate and a well-managed economy, Samoa provides a highly favourable investment environment. One of the greatest beneficiaries has been the tourism sector, which has demonstrated strong and stable growth as the cornerstone of the economy (20-25% GDP) despite the tsunami that hit the country in 2009 and the impacts of Cyclone Evan in 2012. Samoa's national airline, Virgin Samoa operated by Virgin Australia, connects Australia and New Zealand while other scheduled services connect Samoa with Fiji and Hawaii. The largest industrial venture is Yazaki Samoa, a Japanese owned company that processes automotive components for export to Australia and has been successfully operating for 20 years. Samoa's main sources of imports are from New Zealand and Australia. The marine sector and other established industries like food processing and a growing agribusiness sector have potential for further development.

Samoa joined WTO in May 2012 and the UN will graduate Samoa from Least Developed Country status in 2014. As part of the graduation the government has made significant investment in infrastructure required for a knowledge-based economy (including national broadband and the establishment of the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa). The recent launch of a 4G mobile broadband network in the country has also promised faster and more reliable internet connections to its customers via BlueSky Samoa.

Three beachfront properties in Samoa have been honoured at the TripAdvisor 2013 Traveller's Choice Awards. Seabreeze Resort was chosen in the top 10 hotels for romance in the South Pacific and again in the top 25 bargain hotels in the South Pacific together with Litia Sini Beach Resort. Savaii Lagoon Resort was selected within the top 10 hotels for best service in the South Pacific.

New investments in the tourism sector are also occurring with the newest four star resorts, Aga Reef Resort, which opened in March and the Return To Paradise Resort (located at Lefaga where 'Return To Paradise' starring Gary Cooper was filmed) will open with 50 rooms on the 1st of November 2013. Slated to commence in 2013, PNG's Lamana Group has announced it will build a US$60million four star resort on Samoa's Taumeasina Island, just off the coast of Apia in June 2013. Furthermore, one casino license was issued in early 2013 - to Aggie Greys Resort and a provisional license to ETG - a Chinese company which plans to build five star resorts in Samoa.

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