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New Zealand pledge $1m to Tonga's Business Enterprises

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07 July, 2010

New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, and the President of the Tongan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Paula Taumoepeau, announced today the launch of a new Tonga Business Enterprise Centre (TBEC).

The TBEC will be a one stop where businesses can come for advice, training or help with accessing finance for new investment.

"The new Business Enterprise Centre is needed to provide training and sound advice to a range of small businesses in Tonga," Murray McCully said.

"The global financial crisis has triggered a downturn in the Tongan economy which has had an adverse impact on many small businesses. New Zealand has responded by providing practical support through funding for training in essential business skills as financial management, staff management and how to grow your business.

"Discussions with the banks in Tonga have revealed that there are funds to lend but not enough strong proposals coming through.

"With New Zealand funding, Tonga already has in place a scheme to fund feasibility studies that can help to turn good business ideas into bankable proposals. We are also providing experienced businesses mentors from New Zealand who are working on one with Tongan businesses to provide advice and map out plans for expansion.

"If the New Zealand business mentors identify areas where a business in Tonga needs help, the new TBEC will be able to step in and provide that assistance." Murray McCully said.

The TBEC initiative has been developed jointly with the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Commerce, Labour and Industries (MLCI) and MLCI will be on the Advisory Committee for the Centre.


Issued by the: New Zealand High Commission, Nuku'alofa, 2010. Tel: (676) 23-122


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