11 Mar 2011

Tonga targets agricultural exports to New Zealand

6:44 am on 11 March 2011

It's hoped that a plan to significantly increase Tonga's agricultual exports to New Zealand will help boost the economy.

Tonga's Ministry of Agriculture has to first prove to bio-security officials in New Zealand that it can meet quarantine standards.

The Minister for Agriculture, Lord Vaea, says it would include for the first time tomatoes - which currently only Australia meets special export status on.

"It's been identified to be a likely opportunity to bring about a better trade deficit and as well stimulate the economy so consequently we're looking at New Zealand in terms of the colder months for exporting our tropical fruit."

Lord Vaea says if New Zealand gives the okay they'll start exporting around July.