Tonga's Princess Pilolevu notes importance of remittances

At the opening of the Tonga Legislative Assembly today the Princess Regent has noted the significance to Tonga of remittances from expatriates.

Princess Pilolevu said that the remittances, according to World Bank figures, were as large as the country's Gross Domestic Product and shore up the economy, despite earlier expectations that they would start to drop.

She says it is a sign that the bonds of family, church, friendship, culture and tradition may be stronger for the Tongan people than any other country.

Princess Pilolevu says the culture of loyalty to each other and business successes overseas and at home are part of what will sustain the nation as it goes through some challenges in the coming year.

Next story in Pacific: Scholarship controversy in Kiribati - inquiry hearings end today