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Economy gradually recovering – IMF team review of economic performance

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 2/03/2020

The Cabinet has approved and noted on February 24, 2020, of the outcome of the review by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team, who recently visited Tonga, and conducted the comprehensive review of the economic performance, and the current situation of the economy of Tonga. In their findings, Tonga’s economy is gradually recovering after the stagnating (slow growth) in the Financial Year 2018, due to the effects of Cyclone Gita, (and off course the outstanding works, yet, to be completed on Cyclone Ian in Ha’apai in 2014)

The growth is estimated at 3% in Fiscal Year 2019, which was driven by the stronger consumption of the people.

It is noted that the economic growth was slower due to market losses after the tropical cyclone Gita, that had significantly reduced Tonga’s export capability, and thereby relied heavily on imports from overseas markets and from Vava’u.

It was also noted that the economy is facing challenges that needs to be addressed soon, including Tonga’s high vulnerability to natural disasters. In addition, are the loss of skilled labors to emigration and seasonal fruit workers in Australia and New Zealand.

However, the remittances have contributed significantly to reducing of poverty, creation of new economic opportunities, and financing of the heavy dependence on imports especially on fuel, construction, and foods as well.

Tonga is also in a high debt distress with repayments, as set, to spike from 2024 onwards.

However, there is hope that recommended actions could be considered and cooperated into the national planning priorities, and in the national implementation processes as well in order to address this.

© Radio and Television Tonga News