21 Feb 2008

Tonga's Government hopes its planned Tongan Origin shop will this year

9:20 am on 21 February 2008

The Tonga Government hopes that its planned Tongan Origin shop will open by the middle of this year.

The shop was one of series of ideas unveiled last year as Tonga strove to rebuild its economy following the devastating riots of late 2006.

The development is one of several under the Transport Minister Paul Karalus says the National Economic Development Council is providing grants to individual businesses and some key industries, while it is also putting up venture capital.

In addition a strong Tonga representation is being funded for the Pacific trade fair next month in West Auckland.

Mr Karalus says the goods on display at the trade fair will be the backbone of the Tonga Origin shop.

"We have a fairly wide range here of things, from handicrafts through food products through beverages through small manufactures and even things like telephone directories. You know, just a whole host of things of Tongan origin."