31 Mar 2015

Tonga govt chases tardy debtors owing China loan money

8:40 am on 31 March 2015

Tonga's finance minister says he has some confidence two businesses which benefited from a Chinese loan will soon commit to repaying it to the government.

Tonga borrowed about US$50 million from China for the rebuild of Nuku'alofa and about 40 percent of that was loaned to business people.

The Tongan capital of Nuku'alofa.  Vehicles ply the streets of the capital Nuku'alofa on March 28, 2012.

The Tongan capital of Nuku'alofa Photo: AFP

The Finance Minister, Aisake Eke, says he hopes a recent meeting between two of the businesses which have yet to start repaying their loan and the prime minister has gone some way to overcoming any barriers.

He says these have included claims of defects in the construction and the lack of a signed completion contract.

"I think I am sort of confident that they now understand, after the discussion with the Prime Minister, they shouldn't be hesitant to provide the necessary financial information that they have. So I think I am slightly confident they are going to comply this time."

Tonga's Finance Minister Aisake Eke