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Last updated at 16:18 BST, Friday, 13 May 2011

Samoa to change its time zone


13 May 2011

The Pacific island of Samoa is planning to move forward to a different time zone to help boost business. Samoa is currently 21 hours behind Australia, which is one of its biggest trading partners. The change in time zone is due to happen later in 2011.

Mike Wooldridge

A couple on the beach on the island of Samoa

Samoa markets itself as the last place on earth to see each day's sunset


Click to hear the report:


When Samoa put itself on the east side of the international dateline back in 1892, it was apparently to do same-day business with Californian traders across the Pacific. Now the main trading partners are nearby New Zealand and Australia and countries in East Asia.

But on Sunday when Samoans are in church, cities such as Sydney and Brisbane are already into Monday and the new working week. And while Samoans are still doing business on Friday, Australians and New Zealanders have already begun their weekend.

There will be a price to pay: Samoa markets itself as the last place on earth to witness each day's sunset. But to compensate, the prime minister has another proposition for those who enjoy travel curiosities. By making a flight of less than an hour from the US territory of American Samoa, which isn't moving across the dateline, it will be possible to celebrate the same day twice - and on the same date, have two birthdays, two anniversaries or even two weddings.

Mike Wooldridge, BBC News


Click to hear the vocabulary:


the international dateline

the imaginary line which runs from north to south across the Pacific Ocean, marking the final place where one day ends and the first where a new one begins

same-day business

trading between people or companies which happens on one day


here, people who buy and sell fruit and other crops

in church

attending a church

into Monday

living in Monday (while it is still Sunday in Samoa)

a price to pay

a negative result or consequence

to compensate

to make up for it


serious suggestion or suggested course of action

travel curiosities

surprising or interesting journeys or experiences


here, the day each year when a couple celebrate the date they got married or when their relationship started

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