13 Jul 2018

Tonga to start repaying loan for Nuku'alofa reconstruction

4:10 pm on 13 July 2018

Tonga is to this year start repaying a Chinese loan of over US$100 million used to rebuild the capital's central business district after riots almost twelve years ago.

The aftermath of riots in downtown Nuku'alofa in 2006.

The aftermath of riots in downtown Nuku'alofa in 2006. Photo: AFP

The riots in November 2006 caused the destruction of a significant portion of Nuku'alofa's CBD, following which the government took up a USD$119 million loan for the reconstruction effort.

Repayment had been deferred to this year upon the request of Tonga's government.

This week, prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva said government would start repaying the principal loan with provision in this year's budget.

According to him, government had in the meantime paid around US$16 million in interest.

Mr Pohiva said Tonga would keep on asking China to divert the loan into a grant.

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