Consisting of seven volcanic islands, Samoa lies to the north-east of Fiji and east of the international dateline. Its Polynesian traditions remain a central force in Samoan life.
Samoa has a small and developing economy, reliant on imports and with a large trade deficit. Key domestic sectors are services, tourism and agriculture, with indigenous exports consisting mainly of fish and agricultural products.
Remittances from Samoans working abroad are a key part of the economy, and development assistance in the form of loans, grants and direct aid is an important component. Approximately 60 per cent of the population is employed informally and work in subsistence agriculture or local commercial ventures.
People-to-people links between Australia and Samoa are strong, buoyed by initiatives such as Seasonal Worker, Australia Awards Scholarships and Australian Volunteers for International Development programs.
Australia is the main destination for Samoan merchandise exports, with imported goods from Samoa worth around $31 million in In 2016-17. And Australia is Samoa's fifth largest source of merchandise imports — predominantly meat, paper and dairy products — totalling $31 million in 2016-17.
Recent development highlights include:
- Samoa’s new climate-resilient, state-of-the-art Parliament House, which blends traditional and modern design.
- Co-financing a submarine internet cable to improve inclusive development, stimulate innovation, and promote efficient business.
- Governance support, such as assisting with the development of Samoa’s inaugural National Security Policy in 2018.