Samoa to skip a day for economy

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The country of Samoa is made up of a group of islands in the Southern part of the Pacific Ocean. It is closer to Australia than it is to any other advanced nation and thus, its economy has been more closely tied to it as the years go on. In fact, about 1/4 of all Samoan exports go to Australia. However, there is one geographic issue here. In between Samoa and Australia lies the International Date Line. This is the imaginary line that determines when each day begins and ends. Since Samoa lies opposite of Australia with regards to this important line, it is many hours behind Australia. This makes business a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

To solve this problem, Samoa has decided that it will skip one day this year. At 11:59 pm on December 29th when the rest of the world will welcome December 30th, Samoa will skip it and instead welcome December 31st. Since Australia is among the first countries to enter the new date every day (because they lie right in front the International Date Line), they too will have already lived through December 30th and be ready to welcome December 31st as well. I know, this is all confusing. The important take away here is that Samoa’s time shift will result in them having a time zone much more similar to Australia. This will help their economy.

According to CNN (where I first learned of this plan), Samoa already changed their road system to have left lane driving, instead of the right lane driving North Americans use. This was apparently done so that they can import cars more cheaply from Australia. Essentially, because this country is so small and is relying more and more on a major trading partner, they must adapt various parts of their way of live in order to grow their economy. It is a lesson in doing what it takes to succeed.