20 Jul 2002

Tongan MP concerned by Chinese domination of commercial sector

10:19 am on 20 July 2002

An MP in Tonga says the government needs to regulate the number of Chinese that come into the country because they are starting to dominate the retail industry to the detriment of the locals.

Dr Fred Sevele, who also runs a supermarket and a money transfer business, says Chinese workers have easy access to work visas because of the aid China gives to Tonga.

He says it is illogical bringing chinese into the country to work when there is already unemployment.

Dr Sevele says Tonga should learn from the lessons of other countries.

"The Chinese are virtually taking over vthe commercial sector. Let's learn from the lessons of Fiji for example - a lot of the problems there is because of the ethnic relations. I certainly don't want to see Tonga being dominated, as far as the commercial sector goes, by non-Tongans"

Dr Sevele says he doesn't mind if workers are brought in to do jobs Tongans can't do, but he says locals are capable of working in the commercial sector.