The island of Samoa is planning to move into the future, without a time machine.
Samoa, an island in the South Pacific Ocean, is currently 21 hours behind Sydney on the clock but is planning to move three hours ahead this December.
According to NY Daily News, the island nation will switch to the west side of the International Dateline in order to boost business relations with Australia and New Zealand, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi announced Sunday.
Samoa and its neighbor, American Samoa, were on the western side of the International Dateline until an American businessman convinced both to move to the eastern side in 1892 to facilitate trading with Hawaii, reported NY Daily News.
Samoa has had a turbulent history. It’s officially known as the Independent State of Samoa, after being known as Western Samoa for a number of years. The country is located about halfway between Hawai’i and New Zealand in the Polynesian region of the Pacific Ocean and consists of two main islands known as Upolu and Savai’i. During the twentieth century, the Samoan Islands were split into two parts: the eastern island group became known as American Samoa and the west became known as German Samoa. German Samoa was soon taken over by New Zealand but by 1962, it became independent and took on its official title of The Independent State of Samoa.
Currently, Samoa is home to around 180,000 people whose economy is dependent on agriculture and fishing exports. Samoa’s most successful products are cocoa beans, bananas and copra.