5 Jul 2007

Tonga's National Economic Development Council to consider growth proposals

6:50 pm on 5 July 2007

A number of proposals to promote private sector growth in Tonga are being considered by the newly-set up National Economic Development Council, the NEDC.

The president of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce, Tapu Panuve, says the council is working its way through a number of issues affecting different sectors and would act according to priority.

He would not say what's being considered but it's been reported that proposals include setting up a Trade and Investment Board, establishing a market centre and appointing a trade consul in Auckland, and developing a national export strategy.

Mr Panuve says the NEDC is set to meet again shortly.

"The major terms of reference is for the growth of the country, led by the private sector. There's been no real hard figures put to it but I'm sure that these will be divulged as the meetings progress. We just want to see business flourishing and growing, and employing people."

The Council has been given a working budget of just over 7.3 million U.S. dollars.