The Ministry of Trade and Economic Development, in collaboration with the Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, hosted the first annual National Business Conference on the 15-16 February 2023 at FaĆ³nelua Convention Center. The Prime Minister Hon. Hu’akavameiliku marked the beginning of this initiative by emphasising the importance of the conference to ensure that the Government and the private sector work together in “Building Tonga Better Together ” in his keynote address.

The conference focused on four major topics, Agriculture, Fisheries, Tourism, and Business Environment. It was attended by private sectors, development partners, senior government officials and virtually by members of the private sector from Vava’u and ‘Eua. Speakers included representative from the the government whom where CEOs from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forest, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development. From the non-government sector, speakers included the Governor from the National Reserve Bank of Tonga, Minoru Nishi Jr. (Nishi Trading Ltd.), Etimoni Palu (Pacific Sunrise), Peseti Ma’afu (Tonga Tourism Association) and Sam Vea (President – Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The conference concluded with a set of recommendations for each of the sectors, Agriculture, Fisheries, Tourism and Business environment, for the consideration by the relevant government organisations.

A networking reception was held at the end of the conference, and the members of the conference were fortunate to have an audience with the Secretary General of the Pacific Forum Island Secretariat, Hon. Henry Puna, where he was the guest speaker at the reception. The Secretary General was in the Kingdom on a High-level consultation visit which included the private sector.

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