Samoa Country Report
Samoa encourages foreign investment, particularly from China. Multiple laws have been passed, including legalising casino gambling, to attract tourism and moving Samoa across the International Date Line to facilitate trade with Asia. Samoa's relatively underdeveloped economy means that business infrastructure is lacking; however, communications infrastructure has improved in recent years. In October 2019, Samoa hosted the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in Apia, where Prime Minister Tuilaepa signed seven new agreements with China related to Chinese investments in Samoa's physical infrastructure, e-commerce infrastructure, education, fisheries, and agriculture.
There is no non-state armed group threat in Samoa.
The security situation in Samoa is very benign, with a low risk of crime. Samoan society remains strongly socially and religiously cohesive. Crime rates are low, and risks to foreign visitors or foreign businesses' property remain very low. Criminal gangs growing cannabis were prominent from 2012 to 2015, but the gangs did not threaten or extort businesses or individuals and have since been disrupted by a strong police response. Incidents of violent crime, such as murder, are extremely rare.
There is negligible risk of interstate conflict. Samoa has no standing military forces, and security is administered internally by the Samoa Police Service. Samoa has signed a Treaty of Friendship with New Zealand, allowing Apia to request military assistance from New Zealand if required.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Visitors should also be aware that Samoa is located in an active seismic zone (a magnitude-6.0 earthquake struck the island nation on July 25, 2010) and that during spring months (October to December) cyclones regularly hit the islands (e.g. in mid-December 2012). Beach-goers in particular should note that strong currents in coastal lagoons are responsible for a number of deadly accidents every year.
The quality of medical infrastructure present in the country is below Western European standards. Major roads on the two main islands (Upolu and Savai’i) are paved and taxis and minibuses are available. Finally, the large number of stray dogs present in the country should be noted; they may bother some visitors.
Samoa has a tropical climate and enjoys sunny skies all year long. The rainy season lasts from December to April during which time temperatures are higher than during the rest of the year (31°C). Tropical storms and cyclones sometimes strike the archipelago at this time. The dry season lasts from May until September with temperatures moderated by trade winds (24°C).
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