“The Kingdom of Tonga Reopens for Business” What does this mean for you? was the theme of an event hosted by the New Zealand Business Council and the New Zealand Tonga Business Council. The event coincided with the Tongan Language week in New Zealand.
This event provided members and guests opportunities to engage and listen to updates from Tonga and organisation’s doing business in Tonga.
Lord Fakafanua, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga who gave the keynote address spoke on the current business landscape in Tonga. Lord Fakafanua outlined the major events that impacted Tonga’s economy mainly the 2 years lockdown, the Volcanic eruption and the Tsunami, Covid-19, rising shipping costs/supply chain constraints and the volatile global prices of fossil fuels which has a huge impact in Tonga.
Lord Speaker, encouraged private investment to rebuild the economy after the recent shocks to the country. In particular he touched on remittances, Tourism, construction and the Agricultural and Fisheries.
A discussion panel followed the keynote address with established and emerging leaders in New Zealand provided their perspectives on business with Tonga. The panel included,
• Butch Riechelmann, Managing Director, B.R. & Associates
• Saia Matele, Board Member of the Employer Manufacturers Association
• Dr Sisikula Palu Sisifa, University of Auckland Business School, Department of Management and International Business
• Jennifer Boggiss, CEO Heilala Vanilla
• Jack Bourke, Chief Operating Officer, Light force
• Melissa Lama, President of Otago Students Association