9 Aug 2005

New Zealand report gives Tonga hope of improving terms of trade

7:22 pm on 9 August 2005

The Pacific Islands Trade Commissioner in New Zealand, Chris Cocker, hopes new recommendations on New Zealand's relationship with Tonga will improve the trade imbalance between the two countries.

A New Zealand Parliamentary committee made 17 recommendations to improve the relationship, including developing Tonga's capacity to trade and helping it to participate in the international economy.

Last year New Zealand exported 35 million US dollars of goods to Tonga and imports were just 2.7 million..

Mr Cocker says Tongan exporting into New Zealand is very rudimentary.

"Most of the fresh produce isn't actually exported to commercial importers here in New Zealand. Its mainly sent through relatives that they further distribute, but there have been problems. And just weeks ago, the Minister for Trade Labour and Commerce in Tonga contacted our office because he wanted to visit with a delegation, to try to redevelop that area."

Chris Cocker the Pacific Islands Trade Commissioner.