Foreign relations of Samoa

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The Samoan Government is generally conservative and pro-Western, with a strong interest in regional political and economic issues. Samoa participated in a first round of negotiations with its Pacific Island neighbors for a regional trade agreement in August 2000. In January 2009, Samoa opened embassies in China and Japan.[1]

Bilateral relations[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Albania 1 August 2008

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 1 August 2008.[2]

 Australia 31 March 1971
  • Australia has a high commission in Apia.[3]
  • Samoa has a high commission in Canberra and a consulate-general in Sydney.[4]
 Botswana 18 March 2010

Botswana and Samoa established diplomatic relations on 18 March 2010.[5]

 Canada 11 June 1971
  • Canada is accredited to Samoa from its high commission in Wellington, New Zealand.[6]
  • Samoa is accredited to Canada from its mission in New York City.[7]
 China 6 November 1975 See China–Samoa relations

The Independent State of Samoa and the People's Republic of China (PRC) established official diplomatic relations in 1976. The two countries currently maintain cordial relations; China provides economic aid to Samoa.

The current Ambassador of China in Samoa is Ma Chongren.[8] Samoa has not yet appointed resident diplomatic personnel in China, but has announced its intention to do so.[9]

 Cuba 11 October 2007

Samoa participated in the first Cuba-Pacific Islands ministerial meeting in Havana in September 2008, aimed at "strengthening cooperation" between Cuba and Samoa, notably in coping with the impact of climate change.[10][11]

 France September 1974

The Samoan Government was an outspoken critic of the French decision to resume nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific Ocean in 1995. An indefinite ban was placed on visits to Samoa by French warships and aircraft. Large-scale street demonstrations were held in Apia. The French tests concluded in early 1996.


In September 2008, Samoa became the 46th country to officially recognise the independence of Kosovo.[12] Kosovo and Samoa established diplomatic relations on 10 March 2017.[13]

 Japan 1973

Diplomatic relations between Japan and Samoa were established in 1973. Ministerial level visits are frequent between the two countries. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko made a state visit to Samoa in 2003 when the Emperor was still Crown Prince.[14] Japan opened an embassy in Apia on 1 January 2013.[15]

 Mexico 22 October 2008
  • Mexico is accredited to Samoa from its embassy in Wellington, New Zealand and maintains an honorary consulate in Apia.[16][17]
  • Samoa does not have an accreditation to Mexico.
 New Zealand 1 January 1962 See New Zealand–Samoa relations

At independence in 1962, Samoa signed a Treaty of Friendship with New Zealand. This treaty confirms the special relationship between the two countries and provides a framework for their interaction. Under the terms of the treaty, Samoa can request that New Zealand act as a channel of communication to governments and international organizations outside the immediate area of the Pacific islands. Samoa can also request defense assistance which New Zealand is required to consider, as Samoa does not maintain a formal military. Overall, Samoa has strong links with New Zealand, where many Samoans now live and many others were educated. New Zealand is the closest stopping ground for travel to Samoa.

  • New Zealand has a high commission in Apia.[18]
  • Samoa has a high commission in Wellington and a consulate-general in Auckland.[19]
 Tonga See Samoa–Tonga relations

Both nations are Pacific Islands countries and members of the Commonwealth of Nations and Pacific Islands Forum.

 United States 1971 See Samoa–United States relations

The two countries share cordial relations. Since 1967, the United States has supported a substantial Peace Corps program in Samoa. Over 1,700 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Samoa over that time, with 51 Volunteers currently in-country. Peace Corps programs emphasize village-based development and capacity building. Other forms of U.S. assistance to Samoa are limited. The U.S. Embassy, staffed by a single officer, is the smallest Embassy in Samoa and one of the few one-officer U.S. Embassies in the world.

Samoa and the Commonwealth of Nations[edit]

Western Samoa became independent on 1 January 1962, but did not formally join the Commonwealth of Nations until 1970. Between 1962 and 1970, Western Samoa was treated as though it was a Commonwealth member state. Since 2007, Samoa has been classed as a Commonwealth republic.

International organization participation[edit]


Regional integration[edit]

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has pushed through a variety of legislation to increase links between Samoa and the Pacific regional powers of Australia and New Zealand. Under his leadership the country switched to driving on the left, decided to shift westwards across the international date line and adopted daylight saving time, and proposed the introduction of a common Pacific currency.[22]

In late 2011, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi initiated a meeting of Polynesian leaders which led, in November, to the formal launching of the Polynesian Leaders Group, a regional grouping intended to cooperate on a variety of issues including culture and language, education, responses to climate change, and trade and investment. The Group was in part a response to the Melanesian Spearhead Group.[23][24][25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Samoa adds two diplomatic missions in Asia". Radio New Zealand International. 13 January 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ High Commission of Australia in Samoa
  4. ^ Consulate-General of Samoa in Sydney
  5. ^ "Botswana establishes relations with Samoa, Guinea Bissau" 30 March 2010 Link retrieved 1 April 2010
  6. ^ High Commission of Canada in New Zealand
  7. ^ a b Samoan Permanent Mission to the United Nations
  8. ^ PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  9. ^ "Samoa to establish diplomatic offices in China, Japan", Xinhua, 23 June 2006
  10. ^ "Cuban Foreign Minister Opens Cuba-Pacific Islands Meeting", Cuban News Agency, 16 September 2008
  11. ^ "Pacific and Cuba meet to discuss co-operation". Radio New Zealand International. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Samoa recognises Kosovo independence: Pristina", Agence France-Presse, 16 September 2008
  13. ^ Kosovo and Samoa establish diplomatic relations, KosovaPress, 2017-03-10
  14. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan
  15. ^ Embassy of Japan in New Zealand web site
  16. ^ Embassy of Mexico in New Zealand (in English and Spanish)
  17. ^ Overseas Honorary Consuls in Samoa
  18. ^ New Zealand High Commission in Samoa
  19. ^ Samoan High Commission in New Zealand
  20. ^ Samoan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  21. ^ US Embassy in Samoa
  22. ^ McLean, Tamara (29 June 2011). "Samoa's dateline jump passes into law". Herald Sun. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  23. ^ "NZ may be invited to join proposed ‘Polynesian Triangle’ ginger group", Pacific Scoop, 19 September 2011
  24. ^ "New Polynesian Leaders Group formed in Samoa", Radio New Zealand International, 18 November 2011
  25. ^ "American Samoa joins Polynesian Leaders Group, MOU signed"[permanent dead link], Savali, 19 November 2011