Heritage Foundation rates Samoa's economic freedom
Samoa’s economic freedom score is 60.5, making its economy the 86th freest in the 2012 Index. Its score is 0.1 point worse than last year, with a significant improvement in monetary freedom offset by declines in freedom from corruption and the control of government spending. Samoa ranks 13th out of 41 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is above the world and regional averages.
The Samoan economy’s record on institutional reform has been uneven and sluggish. More vibrant economic growth is constrained by structural weaknesses that continue to undermine economic freedom. The rule of law is not firmly institutionalized through a well-functioning judicial system, particularly due to persistent corruption. Inefficient and high public spending has resulted in a considerable fiscal burden on the population.
Modest regulatory reforms, including simplification of the business start-up process, have led to increased efficiency. However, the pace of reform has slowed in recent years, and policies to open markets further have not been advanced. The Samoan economy has become more dependent on remittances and foreign aid.