On Friday 19th August 2022, Distaquaine Tu’ihalamaka, CEO Ministry of Trade and Economic Development and H.E Rachel Moore, Australian High Commissioner, marked the launching of the first E-Commerce Strategy & Roadmap for Tonga.
This strategy was prepared as one of the components on the project – “Strengthening an Inclusive Enabling Environment for e-Commerce in Tonga” funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) under the E-Commerce Aid-for-Trade Fund (Round II).
The Minister of Trade and Economic Development, Hon. Viliami Uasike Latu references in the strategy how “Tonga needs to have in place the necessary frameworks that can harness optimum gains from the opportunities of e-commerce.” That this strategy will also “require interaction and collaboration amongst leaders in both government, non-government agencies and the private sector”.
The strategy’s mission is to accelerate Tonga’s Digital Transformation through accelerated economic growth that is inclusive and equitable. A robust legal and regulatory framework for e-commerce is identified as one of the drivers for e-commerce growth in Tonga and Cabinet has approved for the review of the relevant legislations or bills to facilitate e-commerce. This will increase confidence for both consumers and suppliers and consequently, encourage more online consumers and business boosting multiple sectors.
As one of the key measures, the Ministry sets out to establish a National E-Commerce Committee, to ensure continuous implementation of the Strategy.