27 Feb 2006

Tonga establishes department for Tongans living overseas

7:45 am on 27 February 2006

The Tongan Cabinet has approved the establishment of a new department to look after the interests and concerns of

Tongans living overseas.

In recommending the move to Cabinet, the acting Prime

Minster, Dr Feleti Sevele said it was important maintain links with the community living overseas and acknowledge the contribution they made through remittances.

A government statement says it began a formal bridge building process between Tonga and Tongans abroad in 2004, through better communication and public relations.

This process has now moved on to another level with the establishment of the new department.

Dr. Sevele said that the proposal has been endorsed by the Economics Sectors Committee, as a way to attract investment from Tongans overseas, especially those who are young, educated and financially well off.

The new department, to be known as the "Department for

Tongans Abroad", is to be staffed and funded within

the existing personnel and vote of the Prime Minister's office