Road access close to 100 per cent: report

A report has revealed that 98 per cent of the total population in Samoa have direct road access, says a development review report.

A report released last year titled “Samoa’s Second Voluntary National Review (V.N.R.) on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals" stated that most Samoans currently resident in the country had direct road access. 

The report also reiterated that overall 86 per cent of the island nation's transport network system is climate resistant.

“In terms of infrastructure especially transport systems, 98 per cent of the total population have direct road access,” reads the report.

It also states that access to basic and essential health, education, water, electricity, sanitation and roads is near universal together with access to mobile technology, internet and financial services which is rapidly improving.

“Compliance with international standards and enhanced capacity and improved infrastructure and facilities at airport and ports support trade, tourism, and connectivity," added the report.

“The last ten years has seen significant investment and improvement in infrastructure in alignment with the National Infrastructure Strategic Plan which set out an investment plan for upgrading the main economic corridor for the country namely Faleolo Airport and all ports including the Apia wharf; launch of submarine cables; rebranding and launch of the national airline; investing in clean energy technologies and ensuring resilient road networks throughout the country.”

Furthermore, the report stated that development partners have come to realise that without sustainable infrastructure there can be no real development in Samoa.

“Therefore, substantial finances have been allocated to the transport and infrastructure sector especially from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Australia, China, and Japan. 

“Overall, 86 per cent of the transport network system is climate resilient. This helps improve access to clean energy, transportation, and connectivity to markets to accelerate socio-economic development. 

“Infrastructure remains one of the four priority outcomes of the [Strategy for Development of Samoa] SDS.

“Samoa continues to invest in its manufacturing industry which provided for 7.5 per cent of all employment in 2017.”

In addition, the manufacturing sector is dominated by food and beverage industries and contributed about 8.1 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product in 2015.

“Its contribution declined to 5.8 per cent in 2018 due to the closure of Yazaki Samoa, the largest manufacturing company in Samoa. 

“Soon after the closure of Yazaki, two New Zealand companies Fero Samoa auto wiring and Sleepwell Samoa established plants at the former headquarters of Yazaki.

“Fero Samoa was proud of the team it had acquired which comprised of former staff of Yazaki; hugely experienced in wire harness manufacture and highly trained in lean manufacturing techniques that ensure high levels of quality and productive delivery.”

Additionally, the two companies hired over half of the 700 staff who had previously worked for the now closed Apia-based spare parts maker Yazaki.

“Samoa’s manufacturing exports are dominated by primary and agro-processed products. 

“Focusing on improving manufacturing industry and investment in research and development especially through Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa will be critical for innovation and for Sustainable Development Goal 9 progress.”

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