NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA (26 October 2022) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Tonga today participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Nuku’alofa Port Upgrade Project.

Tonga Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku led the inauguration ceremony. He was joined by ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez, Tonga Ports Authority management, and other development partners at the event, which marked the beginning of the project’s construction phase.

"Nuku’alofa Port is Tonga’s main international port and an economic lifeline for the country," said Ms. Gutierrez. "This project will play a critical role in upgrading the existing port facilities, increase safety and efficiency of port operations and promote long-term commercial sustainability of port operations. This further deepens our relationship with Tonga. This year marks the 50th anniversary of ADB’s partnership with Tonga and we remain committed to helping them reach their development goals."

More than 98% of Tonga’s imports arrive by sea. The project aims to deliver more reliable and affordable transport infrastructure and services to the people of Tonga. The project will also benefit other Pacific countries by connecting their shipping routes to Nuku’alofa Port.

The project supported by ADB and Tonga will renew, rehabilitate, and expand the port; strengthen management and operations; and improve the port’s capacity. The new upgraded port will be more resilient to climate change and disasters which will minimize disruptions to port operations.

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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