News Item

​Forward focus in Tonga

Industry Advice 12 May 2017

Infrastructure, renewable energy and energy storage, along with tourism and agriculture are areas with potential growth for investors in the Kingdom of Tonga.

These growth areas were part of discussions at the New Zealand Tonga Business Council (NZTBC) annual general meeting in Auckland on Thursday.

Chair Sione Taufa also reiterated the Council’s aim to continue acting as the platform for positive bilateral trade and investment between NZ and Tonga, and to encourage and facilitate investment at the meeting.

In February, NZTBC hosted its inaugural business mission to Nuku’alofa (pictured), resulting in successful outcomes.

“Since the trip to Nuku’alofa earlier this year, some members have achieved business deals due to the business mission and they have gone back to Tonga on follow up visits to solidify those business relationships,” Sione says.

The main areas of business offering potential opportunities for investors currently include infrastructure which is mainly due to the upgrade of facilities for the 2019 Pacific Games.

Another area of growth in Tonga is renewable energy, and energy storage.

“This is mainly due to the ambitious energy target to have Tonga fifty percent renewable by 2020, and seventy-five percent by 2030,” Sione says.

“Bear in mind the current renewable energy sources are around twelve percent, so there is a lot of potential for such ambitious targets,” he adds.

Tourism and Agriculture are two other areas with potential growth.

The 2017 AGM saw a good turnout, with membership numbers up by approximately 24 percent since last year.

Attendees to the AGM heard from guest speaker Butch Riechelmann of BR and Associates Limited.

Butch is the Director of BR Associates, a chartered accountants’ office based in Auckland, and which also has a client base in Tonga.

His expertise is on compliance and tax and assurance services in both countries.

Butch is also a founding member of NZTBC, and he sat on the executive as Treasurer until 2015.

While NZTBC has many goals it wants to achieve, the main focus areas for 2017 include how to better service its growing membership; to continue revitalising its strategy; and to consolidate gains made during the 2017 Business Mission and formulate an appropriate plan for the future, the Chair says.

For upcoming NZTBC events, keep an eye on PCF Events.