19 Apr 2012

Tonga looking for closer relations with Asia and Europe

5:30 pm on 19 April 2012

A Tongan MP Sangster Saulala says new opportunities for economic development will come as a result of the country hosting the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting this week.

Nearly a hundred people, including politicians from different Commonwealth nations, are in Nuku'alofa to discuss good parliamentary practice.

Mr Saulala says when the new King opened the meeting yesterday, in his first function as head of state, he reiterated his desire to steer Tonga towards democracy and greater transparency.

Mr Saulala says the government is looking to tap into opportunities in Asia and Europe.

"The new government wants to move Tonga to a more global position like going to the Asian countries who are at some of the meetings, Europe. We believe we have to invite the world to Tonga to make Tonga as one of the focus points for the pacific, then we can be a centre for democracy and also economic development."

Sangster Saulala says the government received a commitment from India for a closer economic relationship after a special meeting with India's delegate yesterday.