Business Council mulls impact of decision to abandon 2019 Games on investors

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Chairman of the New Zealand Tonga Business Council, Sione Taufa, said today it was too early to assess the impact of the government’s decision to abandon the 2019 Games on its members. Photo/Kalino Latu

Chairman of the New Zealand Tonga Business Council, Sione Taufa, said today it was too early to assess the impact of the government’s decision to abandon the 2019 Games on its members.

“Some of our members will be disappointed, but others will be relieved that government has now made its position clear,” Taufa told Kaniva News this afternoon.

A Business Council delegation visited Nuku’alofa in February.

At the time they believed the upgrading of facilities for the Games offered potential opportunities for investors.

Various development agencies in Tonga told the delegates the kingdom was expected to experience three to four percent economic growth due to the economic activity generated by the games.

This included infrastructure, tourism, hospitality and food and beverages.

Some Council members had gone back to Tonga to firm up business relationships  in the kingdom.

“Information from the past few weeks has been confusing, to say the least” Mr Taufa said.

“I think the news this week gives a much clearer picture of the Government’s direction on this.

“We will continue to monitor this closely as more information come to light.”

Investment

At its recent annual general meeting, Business Council delegates were told renewable energy and energy storage, tourism and agriculture were potential targets for investors in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Taufa told the meeting renewable energy and energy storage was a potential area for investment because of the government’s plan to generate half Tonga’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

“The current renewable energy sources are around 12 percent, so there is a lot of potential for such ambitious targets,” he said.

The main points

  • Chairman of the New Zealand Tonga Business Council, Sione Taufa, said today it was too early to assess the impact of the government’s decision to abandon the 2019 Games on its members.
  • Some Council members would be disappointed, Taufa said.
  • A Business Council delegation visited Nuku’alofa in February.
  • At the time they believed the upgrading of facilities for the Games offered potential opportunities for investors.

For more information

Forward Focus in Tonga (Pacific Co-operation Foundation)

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