Government launches Samoa 2040 Plan

The Government has launched its Samoa 2040 Plan which it says is a 20-year roadmap to stimulate economic growth, create employment and generate new sources of public income.  

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, who gave the keynote address at the launching on Wednesday evening at the T.A.T.T.E. Convention Centre, told guests that it is the first ever 20-year plan that the country has formulated.

“Taking a longer-term vision over the horizon is a significant step in charting a path intended to realize sustainable development and better quality of life for our people,” he said.

“It is a task full of challenges because one is trying to forecast the future – a future we all know is full of uncertainties. 

“We do not know what next week, next month or next year will bring.”

The Samoa 2040 Plan, according to the Prime Minister, puts the country in a better position to make projections on where the country wants to be in two decades.

“However, using the statistics and data available as well as our own experience over the past many years, backed up by the development agenda we intend to implement going forward, we are in a better position to make plausible projections of where we want Samoa’s development to be, in 20 years time. 

“That is the gist of Samoa 2040. It is a demonstration of Samoa’s maturity as a nation.”

Tuilaepa told the guests that identifying the areas that can propel Samoa to a “higher growth trajectory” lies at the core of the country’s resilience building agenda.

Sectors which the Samoa 2040 Plan is banking on to turn around the fortunes of the country are: tourism, agriculture and fishing, the digital economy and labour mobility.

“It (Samoa 2040 Plan) sets out opportunities – in tourism, agriculture and fishing, digital economy, and labour mobility – that have the potential to boost economic growth, create employment, generate government revenues and raise standards of living. 

“It lays out a platform to ensure the needs of present and future Samoan generations are met, and that no one is left behind.”

A copy of the Samoa 2040 Plan obtained by the Samoa Observer highlights the significance of transforming the nation’s economy, which would translate to increased income and employment of all Samoans, in turn allowing citizens to pursue the best and most productive life.

“Our ambition is to raise incomes, accelerate employment creation and improve the standard of living of every Samoan household,” the  Samoa 2040 Plan reads.

“To achieve that, Samoa needs to boost its long-term economic growth trajectory.”

The Samoa 2040 Plan also projects that the recovery of the tourism sector from the impacts of the pandemic will take several years, but steps can be taken now to respond to the challenge.

It also emphasises COVID-19 providing an opportunity to ‘reset’ and recalibrate priorities as necessary in order to set Samoa’s tourism sector up for the longer-term, and address some of the structural issues that have been constraining the growth.

The absence of Samoa’s competitiveness, according to the Samoa 2040 Plan, is due to limited strategic investment in the sector (both public and private), inadequate hospitality and service standards, poor connectivity and high prices.

The Samoa 2040 Plan also highlights the opportunities to boost agriculture and fishing production in the country, but emphasises the need for existing constraints to be addressed.

“Farmers will need to be supported in their efforts to transition from subsistence agriculture to semi-commercial and commercial production, including through the promotion of larger-scale farming, cooperative arrangements and producer organizations: the advancement of new climate-smart technologies and farming techniques, including via the provision of extension services; increased access to finance; and expanded provision of public infrastructure,” the Samoa 2040 Plan reads.

“Linkages with domestic and export markets should be strengthened in order to bolster demand. 

“In the fishing sector, there are opportunities to boost import substitution, increase the value of exports, and provide transshipment services, but the overexploitation of fishing resources must be avoided to preserve longer-term sustainability.”

The Samoa 2040 plan also emphasises the importance of the digital economy, stating that to fully realise the benefits of that sector, Samoans should be able to connect and trust the technology while business environment needs should become more supportive and investment in education, skills and digital literacy further boosted. 

“The Tui Samoa cable has increased the availability of fast, reliable internet services to the government, the business community and the general public. 

“Further efforts are now required to get Samoans connected, and to strengthen the legal and regulatory environment to ensure that consumer interests are protected.”

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