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Tonga to soon finalise its first Trade Policy Framework

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23rd June 2017 More than 30 participants from line ministries, private sectors and public sectors participated in a two-day consultation to finalise Tonga’s first ever Trade Policy Framework.

The consultation started yesterday at Tungi Colonade Conference Room, hosted and funded by the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation & Labour.

Commonwealth Secretariat’s National Trade Advisor Mr. Isaac Ndung’u has been in Tonga for the past 12 months to assist with the drafting of the framework.

He said, “The purpose of this workshop is to consult with everyone and to validate the Draft Trade Policy Framework which has been developed over quite a period of time.”

According to Mr. Ndung’u, consultants from Germany came to Tonga in April last year funded by the International Trade Centre with support from PIFS and they conducted various consultations within Tongatapu with several ministries and the private sectors.

“In October last year we embarked another round of consultation which covered the major islands including Vava’u, ‘Eua and Ha’apai. From that consultation, the views came from private sectors as well as the civil society and other government departments, we then incorporated those views and provided a final draft which we are here today to validate.”

Mr. Ndung’u stressed the importance of having a trade policy as a fundamental instrument that will help the country to define a clear road map towards having expanded trade and a thriving economy.

“It also helps to define our priorities in terms of trade development which sector we are prioritizing, which services do we want to drive our economy, our choices of market, our choices of trading partners. It helps us to embrace our spirit of inclusiveness and at the end of the day you are aware that trade has been accepted as the most important tool for uplifting people’s life and getting people out of poverty.”

A follow up consultation will be held in the outer islands and the comments received will be incorporated to the draft policy. A statement and a summary will be prepared for the Cabinet approval before its implementation.


Issued by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications

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