11 Jun 2012

Tonga Chamber of Commerce confident despite crisis

4:52 am on 11 June 2012

Tonga's newly re-elected head of the Chamber of Commerce says she's confident about the kingdom's economic future despite its current fragile state.

Aloma Johansson was chosen as the group's president for a second year last week and says she's glad to be able to follow through with previous plans, such as supporting cottage industries, in an effort to boost growth.

She says the uncertain economic outlook is compounded by the right of the parliament to call a vote of no confidence but she's confident that government is enthusiastic about partnering with the private sector.

She says the new Chamber members are keen to see Tonga flourish.

"They seem very passionate because they also are owners of businesses themselves, so obviously realise that if everything's going to flourish or going to improve or go forward, that they're empathetic to all the issues, the economic issues. So I believe that because they are part of Chamber they will be pushing initiatives strongly because it will benefit them as well as others."

Aloma Johansson says the Chamber of Commerce is calling for expressions of interest from NGOs to fill four affiliate spots.