3 Jun 2008

Business operators in Tonga say Government's planned 3 percent growth credible

10:23 am on 3 June 2008

The Tonga Chamber of Commerce supports government predictions of three percent economic growth for the new financial year.

The government made this assessment based on the reconstruction of the destroyed business district in Nuku'alofa, tourism growth, and major investments.

There's been some criticism that the announcement is too optimistic given the global economic slowdown and the increased cost of many goods that will affect Tonga.

But the Chamber's president, Paul Taumoepeau, shares the government's optimism.

"Remittances haven't been really affected by past downturns in Australia, New Zealand or the US economy. They keep steady or even increase slightly. And we don't export much, we don't get affected by what's happening overseas. Plus, we started from a low base, the economy was at a low, so it's easier to grow."

Paul Taumoepeau says the high volume of more expensive imports into Tonga also won't slow down the economic growth.