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World Bank and ADB expand presence in Tonga

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 4/12/2019

The Prime Minister highlighted two main issues yesterday during a program to mark the expanding of a joint-office of the World Bank and Asia Development Bank (ADB) in Tonga.

The issues included the crossing bridge at the Fanga’uta Lagoon and for Tonga to reach 50% renewable energy by 2020.

In the remarks from the Prime Minister Hon. Pohiva Tu’ionetoa says, this is one of his government’s priorities as he believes these are two main issues that urgently needs to be addressed during his time as Prime Minister.

It is my wish and I humbly request for ADB’s consideration to work quickly on the contract awards and commissioning of the construction of the Fanga’uta Lagoon crossing bridge by early 2021. This project would definitely promote economic growth – as one of my government’s priorities. I respectfully wish to address the views of the ADB on investment to support Tonga’s 2020 of 50% renewable energy target of around $90million USD which will reduce the cost of electricity generation across the country. This is an area I’m very concerned with and request ADB guidance and advice how my government can manage to ensure that the public to benefit appropriately from the ADB investment in renewable energy.”

The Prime Minister also talked about other major issues need to be addressed in Tonga provided with funds from ADB and the World Bank.

In my government, we are pleased to inform of my wish to place more emphasis on one – combatting illicit drugs including transnational criminal activities that directly engage cybercrime and cyber-attacks. Two – education and capacity building, Three – health and disease prevention, Four – economic growth, Five – climate change and climate resilience, Six – Infrastructure development and investment, Seven – energy and energy transition, and finally – digitization and E-government.”

Also attending the program was the Deputy General Director of ADB – James Lynch also the Operations Manager of World Bank to the Pacific – Moana Sur who talked about the benefit of the new joint-office for Tonga.

Our new office means we are far better place to bring in expertise and resources directly to Tonga. It will enable us to work faster and collaboratively with counterparts and stakeholders on the ground and will also increase our organizations knowledge and understanding of the Tongan context needs and priorities. Sharing an office with ADB is also – to achieve Tonga’s development priorities. “

The new joint-office will ensure more close working relationship with Tonga and these two banks.


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