Samoa’s principle exports are coconut products, nonu fruit and fish, according to the US Department of State, with New Zealand its principle trading partner.
New Zealand provides between 35% and 40% of imports and purchasing 45%-50% of exports, the analysis noted, and there is increased trading with Hong Kong, China and Japan due to the growing number of Asian-owned businesses in Samoa.
Samoa had been closer to American time, only five hours behind New York; a time zone agreed in 1892 to work in line with Californian-based traders.
However, the Samoan government made the decision to make the change as the country now has a stronger business allegiance with Australia and New Zealand.
Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi said: “Today, we do a lot more business with New Zealand and Australia, China and Pacific Rim countries such as Singapore.”
The law to move Samoa west of the international date line was passed in June 2011.