23 Mar 2005

Tonga's four new cabinet ministers to be formally sworn in on Thursday

10:20 am on 23 March 2005

Tonga's new Labour, Commerce and Industry minister, Fred Sevele, says promoting the private sector and reducing unemployment will be among his main aims.

Dr Sevele is one of four new cabinet members who will be formally sworn in to their posts on Thursday.

And, he is one of two elected by the people who for the first time have been appointed by the king to the 12 member cabinet.

Dr Sevele says the private sector has been ignored for too long.

"The greatest priority as I see it is to inject confidence into the business community, to the private sector, and to make them believe that they are wanted, that their money is needed for investment. And, also to look at areas that could be developed that would lead to additional income and additional employment."

Dr Sevele says the three areas he believes could be developed are fisheries, agriculture and tourism.

He says he expects to attend his first cabinet meeting next week.