5 May 2011

Samoa considers switching time zones

8:30 am on 5 May 2011

Samoa is reportedly considering switching time zones so it falls to the west of the international dateline, bringing the country's clocks closer to major trading partners in Australasia.

Currently, Samoa sits to the east of the international dateline -- which runs through the middle of the Pacific -- meaning that it is 11 hours behind GMT and is one of the last places on Earth to see out the day.

The time difference puts it 21 hours behind eastern Australia and 23 behind New Zealand, two of its biggest trading partners, which are also home to the large expatriate Samoan communities.

The AAP news agency reports the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi as saying his government had studied the implications of switching time zones and early indications were favourable.