Samoa economy grew 0.7% in 2017/2018

Samoa’s economy grew 0.7 per cent in the 2017-2018 financial year and although lower than projections, it still reflects developments within the country still in their infant stages of implementation. 

The good news was announced by Minister of Finance Sili Epa Tuioti, when Samoa’s Parliament was in session during the tabling of the First Supplementary Estimates for 2018/19 totaling $19.4millionon on Christmas eve. It was the House’s last session for 2018. 

 “I am also pleased to announce that Samoa’s economy grew 0.7 per cent in 2017/18, although lower than projections, it still reflects the effects of the developments within the country which are still in initial stages of implementation.” 

Minister Sili noted that the growth for 2017/18 was driven primarily by the tourism sector, and is a reflection of the country’s hosting of various international conferences. These included the Commonwealth Broadband Pacific Forum, the Pacific Islands Forum Summit, the Global Breadfruit Summit, and the first Pacific Ministerial Shark Symposium as well annual events.

“Assisting this growth also was the communication sector driven by competition resulting from the launching of the Tui Samoa Cable. 

“In addition, the construction sector continues to be one of the major sectors driving growth, attributed to the many ongoing infrastructural developments of the country including the airport and wharf developments, the west coast road initiative as well as other developments within the private sector.” 

According to the Minister, a review of the 2017-2018 Budget outturn indicated a 0.1 per cent of G.D.P. surplus, far below the budgeted fiscal deficit for the year of 3.5 per cent and the 2 per cent medium term fiscal target established within the budget estimates. 

“This is indicative of Government’s commitment in strengthening its revenue base whilst at the same time trying to contain operating expenditures. 

“Taxation revenue grew 1.6 per cent over the previous year and was sufficient to more than cover the 1 per cent drop in collections on fees and charges for Government services.”  “Following three consecutive years of declines, Government expenditure increased slightly in 2017/18 by 0.6 per cent — affected by the Ministry of Finance taking over the financial management of the National Health Services in January 2018.” 

Furthermore, the Minister said the year 2017/18 saw the Government of Samoa begin the final phase of many of its planned large infrastructure including the the Faleolo Airport, the landing of the Tui Samoa Cable, the Parliament House as well as many of its road infrastructures and renewable energy initiatives.” 

Sili said the achievements were made in the face of many competing priorities of the Government and limited resources, and are a testament to good governance — in ensuring that the needs of the country are levied in the best way possible, against an optimum mix of resources.

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