Tonga and ADB
In the Spotlight
Growth in the Pacific is expected to remain weak in 2018, as economic and political uncertainties, fiscal challenges, and natural disasters hold back some of the region’s larger economies. Damage caused by Cyclone Gita which hit Tonga is projected to push the economy into a slight contraction, says a new ADB report.
ADB has provided $6 million to the Government of Tonga to help fund priority early recovery activities following the onslaught of Tropical Cyclone Gita, which tore through Tongatapu, Tonga on 12 February. ADB is also providing an additional $1 million, in the form of a grant.
This country brief summarizes how the partnership of ADB and the Tonga government has helped to reduce poverty and is aiding in the country's recovery from the global economic crisis.
The economy of Tonga is highly dependent on subsistence agriculture, extremely vulnerable to natural hazards, and heavily reliant on external income (donor aid and remittances). Its medium-term development depends on the continued implementation of structural reforms to improve productivity, remove bottlenecks to growth, and strengthen macroeconomic resilience.
ADB and other development partners are working closely with the government to implement a multiyear joint policy reform matrix , which will ensure that Tonga’s development priorities are addressed and policy reforms are realized. The medium-term policy goals for the government include maintaining macroeconomic stability—particularly in light of high public debt—and improving economic management. Policy reforms also seek to achieve sustained economic growth led by the private sector, while maintaining the country’s health and education standards.