Independent State of Samoa
Malo Sa'oloto Tuto'atasi o Samoa i Sisifo
CAPITAL : Apia
FLAG : The upper left quarter of the flag is blue and bears five white, five-rayed stars representing the Southern Cross; the remainder of the flag is red.
ANTHEM : The Flag of Freedom.
MONETARY UNIT : The Samoan tala ( S ) is a paper currency of 100 sene. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 sene and 1 tala, and notes of 2, 5, 10, 20, and 100 talas. S 1 = US $0.3333 (or US $1 = S 3.00) as of January 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : British weights and measures are used.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's, 1–2 January; Independence Holidays (first three workdays of June), Anzac Day, 25 April; Christmas Day, 25 December; Boxing Day, 26 December. Movable religious holidays are Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Whitmonday.
TIME : 1 AM = noon GMT.
Samoan is the universal language, but both Samoan and English are official. Some Chinese is also spoken. Most of the part-Samoans and many others speak English, and it is taught in the schools.
Samoa has no armed forces, and relies on its police force for internal security. The government foresees no military development because of financial considerations and the absence of threats from abroad. There are informal defense ties with New Zealand under the terms of the 1962 Treaty of Friendship.
No minerals of commercial value were known to exist in Samoa.
Samoa formerly depended heavily on imported energy, but hydroelectric power, first available in 1985, has greatly increased its generating capacity. In 2000, net electricity generation was 0.1 billion kWh, of which 59.2% came from fossil fuels and 40.8% from hydropower. In the same year, consumption of electricity totaled 95.8 million kWh. Total installed capacity at the beginning of 2001 was 25 MW.
There is a private life insurance company in Apia, National Pacific Insurance Ltd., managed by the National Insurance Co. of New Zealand.
Individuals and companies are liable for the payment of income tax. The basic nonresident corporate tax rate is 48%, and the resident corporate tax rate is 39%; rates for both domestic and foreign insurance companies are lower. Personal income tax rates range from 5% to 50%. There are also gift, inheritance, and stamp taxes.
Customs duties provide almost half of current government revenue and are levied on all imports except those specifically exempted. Preferential rates for imports from Commonwealth countries were abolished in 1975.
The government actively promotes the establishment of industries financed by overseas companies. These include milling and logging operations by a US company on Savai'i and by a joint Japanese-Samoan enterprise on Upolu, and a US hotel resort center near Apia.
Samoa has no territories or colonies.
Freeman, Derek. Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983.
Gilson, R. P. Samoa 1830 to 1900: The Politics of a Multi-Cultural Community. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.
Henderson, Faye. Western Samoa, A Country Profile . 2d ed. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1980.
Lockwood, Brian. Samoan Village Economy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.
Mead, Margaret. Coming of Age in Samoa. London: Penguin, 1961 (orig. 1928).