Samoa Loses a Day to Spur Economic Growth


The country of Samoa (not to be confused with American Samoa) is located halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. Samoa’s primary industry is agriculture and the country has no military. Presently, Samoan time is aligned with the Americas (three hours behind the time in Los Angeles) as this was originally thought to be economically beneficial for Samoa. The economic picture of Samoa is very different today however and Samoa’s business is conducted primarily with its neighbors such as Australia. Presently there is a 21 hour time difference (nearly an entire day) between Samoa and Australia. This enormous time difference has not been conducive to business efficiency between the two countries. When Samoans are still working on Friday morning the Australians have already begun their weekend. And while Australians are back to work on Monday morning, the Samoans are enjoying their Sunday. This makes for a short work week.

The Samoans have even changed what side of the road they drive on because of Australia. Previously they drove on the right side of the road, but now they drive on the left side of the road. This allows them to get cars cheaper from their neighbors, the Australians. Because of the amount of business the two countries do together, the Samoan government has devised a solution to Samoa’s time difference problem by eliminating a day from their 2011 calendar. This year, the day December 30th will simply not exist in Samoa. Their days this year will jump from December 29th to December 31st. Samoan time will now be only three hours ahead of the time in Sidney, Australia.

Samoa is only 20 miles away from the International Date Line, which is an imaginary longitude that signifies a change in date when you pass over it. This line was made over a century ago when they thought their time zone being close to America’s would be helpful, but it turns out most of their business is with Australia not the Americas. Australia has maintained economic stability and has rallied over the past few years during a time when the United States has experienced great economic difficulties.

The Samoans appear to be willing to give up an entire day this year in the hope of gaining greater economic prosperity by aligning themselves with Australia. Only time will tell “what a difference a day makes.”

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