MANILA, PHILIPPINES (4 December 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $45 million grant to help rehabilitate and upgrade the Queen Salote Wharf in the Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa.

The Nuku’alofa Port Upgrade Project is sourced from ADB’s Asian Development Fund and will rehabilitate, renew, and expand the port’s infrastructure and strengthen management and operations, boosting the Tongan capital’s most critical trade, transportation, and economic hub. An archipelago of more than 170 islands, an estimated 98% of Tonga’s imports arrive by sea.

“The Nuku’alofa Port is the country’s main international port and a lifeline for the people of Tonga,” said ADB Transport Specialist for the Pacific Juan Gonzalez. “The project will also benefit other Pacific countries in the region with shipping partnerships with Tonga, such as the Cook Islands and Samoa.”

ADB’s upgrade to the port of Apia in Samoa is providing a blueprint for the project in Nuku’alofa. Upgrading ports in the Pacific with smart infrastructure and processes will remove inefficiencies, reduce costs, and protect against natural disasters and climate change. The Nuku’alofa Port Project is designed with green and smart components and includes gender aspects to promote the participation of women in port operations.

ADB has extensive experience in maritime transport in the Pacific, having provided support to Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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