23 Jan 2008

Tonga's prime minister believes there is growth in the economy

11:26 am on 23 January 2008

Tonga's Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, says he's a positive thinker and believes there is growth in the Tongan economy and that it can bounce back from its poor state.

He told the Matangi Tonga Online if you look at how well the major commercial banks have been doing during the last financial year it shows that something is happening in the economy.

The Prime Minister was referring to the Westpac Bank of Tonga's record net profit of over 3 million US dollars during the last financial year.

Westpac is targeting an increase in net profit of 15-percent during the current financial year.

Dr Feleti says Tonga also has acres of uncultivated land, and can export tropical fruits to New Zealand.

He says there is also a new market for maize, and that the government is embarking on a coconut-replanting scheme.

And he expects the Customs Department to collect almost 10 million US dollars more in revenues in the current financial year compared to the previous year.