7 Jun 2008

Tongan government rejects criticism of economic projections

9:22 am on 7 June 2008

The Tongan Government has hit back at criticisms of its economic projections, saying the claims run counter to the findings of international experts

One of Tonga's pro-democracy MPs, Akilisi Pohiva, says despite Government predictions of 3% growth in 2008/09, there's no economic growth in sight.

But in a statement, the Minister of Finance, Afualo Matoto, says Mr Pohiva is questioning the forecasts of internationally trained economists, and the International Monetary Fund.

Mr Matoto says the criticism also ignores the increased rebuilding work in Nukualofa, preparations for the Coronation and the 17% increase over the past year in tourism arrivals.

He is warning Mr Pohiva to reconsider his comments or seek further information so that he does not damage the Tongan economy by undermining business confidence.