Melbourne: Samoa, a tiny nation in the South
Pacific and its neighbour Tokelau have already embraced the
New Year, a day earlier than the rest of the world, to align
closely with their major trading partners in Australasia.
Yesterday, at the stroke of midnight (15:30 IST), Samoa
has fast-forwarded to 31 December, missing out 30 December.
Samoa has announced this decision in May in a bid to
improve ties with major trade partners Australia and New
The change comes 119 years after Samoa moved in the
opposite direction. Then, it transferred to the same side of
the International Date Line as the United States, in an effort
to aid trade.
But New Zealand and Australia have become increasingly
valuable trade partners for the country. Till yesterday in
doing business with them, Samoans were losing two working days
a week, the BBC has reported.
"While it`s Friday here, it`s Saturday in New Zealand, and
when we`re at church on Sunday, they`re already conducting
business in Sydney and Brisbane," Samoan Prime Minister
Tuila`epa Sailele Malielegaoi has previously said.
Samoa is located approximately halfway between New Zealand
and Hawaii and has a population of 180,000 people. Local time
up to now has been 21 hours behind Sydney. From 31 December it
will be three hours ahead.
Tokelau is a tiny New Zealand-administered territory of
three islands. It lies to the north of Fiji, approximately
half-way between Hawaii and the Australian coast.