14 Nov 2017

Tongan businesses want more training opportunities

8:22 am on 14 November 2017

Tonga's Chamber of Commerce head is hoping the next government will assist the private sector with training when it is formed.

Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Paula Taumoepeau

Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Paula Taumoepeau Photo: RNZ/Koro Vaka'uta

The country goes to the polls on Thursday.

Chamber President, Paula Taumoepeau said the economy was small and heavily reliant on remittances.

He said this meant it was important that people were trained to overseas standards but also others were trained to fill the gaps of those that leave.

"Any business that survives in Tonga for long, they have to train people all the time. They know that as soon as somebody's skilled enough and has an opportunity, they'll go. It is a fact of doing business in Tonga and most of the Pacific islands."

MrTaumoepeau said the chamber would also be asking the new government to work on better tax compliance so there is a level playing field, and more capacity for fuel storage so that fuel and power costs can go down.

"Ensuring you get good compliance, everybody pays what they're meant to pay, then the drive for government to increase and make new taxes won't be there, if they were earning enough. I think that is one of the key issues that they've got to push."

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