DTIS update
WTO accession

The EIF plays a leading role in trade sector development in Samoa. Along with local stakeholders, the EIF has supported Samoa in increasing export opportunities, strengthening partnerships with the private sector and increasing the level of employment. Targeted strategic support has been provided with strong emphasis on value chain addition, trade facilitation and women’s economic empowerment.


End date

The aim of this project is to enable Samoa to use trade as an effective instrument for sustainable development by strengthening trade institutions, enhancing capacities for mainstreaming trade and increasing Aid for Trade and its effectiveness.


  • Enhanced private sector representation on the Trade, Commerce and Industry Development Board, the Trade, Commerce and Manufacturing Steering Committee, and the National Working Committee on Trade Arrangements.
  • Co-funded by the International Labour Organization, the Samoa Employment Policy has been developed to increase the level of employment in key industries through education, training and up-skilling.
  • Reforms to improve the competitiveness of exports are under way by reviewing the National Tariff Structure to reduce tariffs on inputs and capital items. Support is being provided to regional trade negotiations and WTO post‑accession obligations.
  • Trade policy and regulatory frameworks have been strengthened through the enactment of required legislation, e.g., Legal Metrology Act, Competition and Consumer Bill and the Food Safety Bill. Assistance has also been given to private sector organizations enabling them to get their members ISO and HACCP certificated as well as introducing barcoding on their products.
  • Participation of Samoa's services industry has been enhanced through the seafarers programme including implementing policies on seafarers, regional seasonal employment and the seasonal workers, telecommunications, and engagement in the negotiations of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations on labor mobility.
  • Assistance has been provided to develop pilot projects for community entrepreneurship to develop and promote niche products, e.g., the Women in Business project to assist farmers to plant and harvest coconuts to produce Virgin Coconut Oil for the Body Shop in the UK market.
End date

This project is focused on scaling up collaboration between the largest state-owned agricultural producer in Samoa, trade associations and women’s cooperatives in order to add value to cocoa and coconut destined for export. It focuses on strengthening the sector policy so as to enhance private sector participation and manufacturing linkages, which has resulted in the Buy Samoa Made initiative.


  • 500 acres of coconut and cocoa trees were planted at the Samoa Trust Estates Corporation (STEC) plantation.
  • The Buy Samoa Made initiative was launched in 2013 to connect Samoan goods and services with potential markets and to attract foreign direct investment. As a result, total exports increased by 11% after the launch in New Zealand.
  • Taro exports doubled in 2014 compared to the previous year as a result of a revitalized taro industry and a sizeable market share in New Zealand.
  • Empowering women through the Women in Business Development Incorporated (WIBDI), dedicated to strengthening village economic in Samoa and addressing gender imbalances.
  • Centralized processing facilities have been established and appropriate technology procured for carrying out research and development of niche coconut and cocoa value-added products.
  • Assistance has been provided to STEC to procure seedlings, planting tools and contracting village community groups to conduct maintenance and clearance works required at the farm.
  • Supported the construction of the WIBDI processing warehouse which provides the opportunity to centralize the processes of organic products within an HACCP certified environment, adding value to the products for export to be marketed by the WIBDI. The warehouse will also provide a proper storage space for products ready to be shipped.
  • A similar initiative was launched in Australia in March 2015 by the Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters together with other manufacturers to showcase Samoan products.  

Jonathan Werner
Country Coordinator

Mathew Tofilau
Principal Procurement / Finance Officer Trade, Commerce & Manufacturing (TCM) Coordination Unit Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour Apia

Hermine Raeli McCarthy
Senior TCM Officer Trade, Commerce and Manufacturing (TCM) Coordination Unit Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour Apia

Muliufi Nickel
Trade, Commerce & Manufacturing (TCM) Sector Coordinator / NIU Coordinator TCM Coordination Unit Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Labour Apia

Fiona Judy Lene-Samoa
Principal Foreign Service Officer – Trade Trade Department Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Apia

Nella Tavita Levy
Assistant CEO Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, EIF Focal Point

Lita LUI
Donor Facilitator, Ministry of Finance, Samoa

Tuifaasisina Misa Richard Leleisiuao
Associate Minister of Public Enterprises & Tourism

Danielle Asenati Li'o
Principal Aid Grants Coordinator Officer, Aid Coordination & Debt Management Division, Ministry of Finance Samoa