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Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 26/10/2017


With about 200-300 million decrease in the number of exports since 2014, there is concern from the Government to solve this and one of the ways to do so is to open up the markets so that the country’s produce can be exported overseas.


That is the purpose of a one-day workshop that was held today called the Path to Market workshop in cooperation with the Pacific Trade Invest in New Zealand.


Compared to recent years, the Minister of Finance, Pohiva Tu’ionetoa hopes there will be an increase in the number of exports and if possible, Tonga can produce its own goods to be exported such as eggs as well as other local products.


Statistics show that there has always been a deficit in the number of exports in recent years and that has been a challenge in the Trade Industry.


Meanwhile, the CEO of the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour – Edgar Cocker hopes that this will be a method in encouraging the growers to grow more crops in order for Tonga to reach a satisfactory level that will allow produce to be exported to the markets in NZ and Australia.


“It’s a very critical and a very important workshop especially to us Tonga and the other Pacific island countries as we are going through the process of being prepared and getting ready whether or not to ratify the PACER Plus agreement. We have been trying our best to increase our capacity so that we are very competitive in terms of dealing and trading goods and services under the PACER Plus Agreement.”


Attending this workshop was a Representative from the Pacific Trade & Investment Department in New Zealand, Joe Fuavao as well as local exporters.


The workshop will end today.


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