9 Jul 2007

Tonga considers initiatives in agriculture, fisheries and tourism

3:08 pm on 9 July 2007

Tonga's Transport Minister says the National Economic Development Council, the NECD, is considering how to implement private sector initiatives in the areas of agriculture, fisheries and tourism, among others.

The NECD has met twice since its establishment and is looking at a number of proposals, including the development of new crops to export, the creation of new tourist resorts, and the establishment of a Tongan market centre in Auckland.

Also being considered are the appointment of trade consuls in key export markets and national strategies around exports, investment and development.

Paul Karalus says plans for a Tongan centre in Auckland are quite well advanced with the idea to gather together all Tongan products in the one place.

He says they know they need to work at the rebranding of their exports.

"We do have a real need to improve the quality of the produce and other goods that are going out of here, to brand them, to image them, to get them into a form that would better suit the market in New Zealand."

Paul Karalus, Tonga's Transport Minister.