Tonga and ADB
In the Spotlight
The Government of Australia and ADB have established the Pacific Business Investment Facility, an advisory service for Pacific island businesses requiring commercial finance for growth, diversification, or consolidation of their businesses.
ADB is working with the Government of Tonga to build up the country’s resilience to natural disasters and to help it achieve the goal of providing half of all electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, said a new ADB energy report.
Tonga launched the region’s first integrated online business registry, providing up-to-date information on Tongan companies and businesses to the public 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week.
For almost half a century, ADB has been partnering with Pacific developing countries to help them grow and prosper. ADB has scaled up its assistance in the Pacific to more than $2 billion by the end of 2014 from about $500 million in 2004. The vast majority of this support goes into building infrastructure.
The economy of Tonga is characterized by large volumes of subsistence agriculture, extreme vulnerability to natural hazards, and a heavy reliance on external income (donor aid and remittances). In the medium term, Tonga’s development prospects depend on the continued implementation of structural reforms that will improve economic productivity, remove bottlenecks to growth, and strengthen macroeconomic resilience.
ADB and other development partners are working closely with the Government of Tonga to implement a Joint Policy Reform Matrix that ensures that priority areas are addressed, and that policy reforms are realized. The medium-term policy goals for the government include maintaining macroeconomic stability, particularly in light of the large debt overhang, and improving economic management. Policy reforms must also seek to achieve sustained economic growth led by the private sector, while maintaining education and health standards.