9 Nov 2006

Tonga chamber of commerce says reforms under way

12:32 pm on 9 November 2006

The President of Tonga's Chamber of Commerce says the government is already pushing through some of the reforms called for in a new report by an Australian think tank.

In its report entitled 'Time for a change in Tonga', the Centre for Independent Studies describes Tonga as an economic under-performer, and calls for regulatory and tax reforms to improve the investment climate.

The Chamber's president, Tapu Panuve, says while much of the report is accurate, he doesn't agree with the report's assessment of the government as being "actively hostile to foreign investment".

Mr Panuve says that the government is looking forward, and has set up a taskforce for regulatory reform which is dealing with these issues.

"The reforms are currently taking place as we speak. They've also set up a steering committee on integrated urban development, and that's looking at infrastructure - roads side-walks and drains in certain areas. So these changes are actually taking place."