Public seminars to discuss Samoa’s development agenda for the next 20 years took place in both Upolu and Savaii on the 14th and 28th of June 2019.

There is no long-term national plan at the moment that outlines the direction for development in all facets of the economy. The Strategy for the Development of Samoa 2016/17 – 2019/20 (SDS) is a short- to medium-term planning document that articulates national priorities and strategies over a 4-year timeframe. This presents a need for a longer-term strategy to clearly define government aspirations for a prosperous Samoa in 20 years’ time, and the intention is that the Samoa 2040 strategy will fill this void.

The Samoa 2040: Transforming Samoa to a higher growth path, is Samoa’s national development agenda looking at key economic opportunities with the highest potential to achieve sustainable development by the year 2040. The document was derived from the Pacific Possible Report produced by the World Bank Group, which looks at genuinely transformative opportunities for Pacific Island countries.

In his opening speech for the Upolu consultation, the Minister of Finance, Hon. Sili Epa Tuioti, reiterated that “the Samoa 2040 does not replace

the Samoa Development Strategy (SDS), but rather the two documents should complement each other. The SDS will continue to articulate the detailed short to medium term national objectives which are closely linked to the resources made available in the budget on a fiscal year basis. On the other hand, the Samoa 2040 takes a longer-term perspective of its development agenda to determine where Samoa should be in 20 years’ time. It is a forward-looking strategic statement that identifies the key economic opportunities with the potential of transforming Samoa to a higher growth path by the year 2040.”

The Samoa 2040 document was also a key feature of the Minister’s budget address presented to Parliament last month.

The document consists of 7 thematic areas, noted below:

  1. Enhanced Digital Development
  2. Lifting tourist numbers and spending
  3. Greater labor mobility
  4. Boosting Agriculture
  5. Effective Investment in Human Capital
  6. Resilient Development
  7. Safe and Secure Samoa

The Minister reminded the participants that the consultation process was critical and that everyone’s contribution will assist in the formation of the strategic direction and associated actions for implementation during the plan period.” The Minister further stated that he believed the agenda under the Samoa 2040 will generate positive results for the economy that will translate to a better quality of life for all the people of Samoa.