17 Nov 2008

Nuku'alofa reconstruction a tonic for Tonga's business community - Chamber

8:05 pm on 17 November 2008

The president of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Paul Taumoepeau, says businesses are welcoming the beginning of construction of a new business district in Nuku'alofa.

The capital's CBD was largely destroyed in riots, two years ago, that left eight people dead.

A ground breaking ceremony is to be held tomorrow to mark the beginning of a 55 Million US dollar reconstruction project.

Mr Taumoepeau says because the project is being funded with soft loans from China there are conditions attached which will see a large proportion of the budget spent with Chinese firms.

But he says businesses are looking forward to once again having a thriving CBD.

"We're happy because once the CBD is rebuilt people will see things are back to normal all the background around town are filled up with businesses and shops and people can move back to town. Because I think we need that psychological boost."