Two representatives from Forbes News Magazine arrived in Tonga to interview Prime Minister Akilisi Pōhiva as part of a story to be featured in the international magazine this year.
The interview was conducted at the Prime Minister’s office on Wednesday 11 February.
A statement from the Prime Ministerʻs Office said, “The nomination however, was based on two magnificent milestones within the history of Tonga. First, the appointment of the Hon. Prime Minister of Tonga, and his being instrumental in architecting the strive towards a democratically-elected system of government, and it has been ongoing for several decades to date. Second, the upcoming Coronation of His Majesty, King Tupou VI, in July 2015, which can be regarded a double welcome-blessings for tourism industry as well as other sectors of Tongan economy.
Highlighting only two of the key questions and answers raised at this session are stated accordingly.
Forbes: Keeping in mind that Forbes readers are international well-established investors, what are the key points that make your country stand out from its neighbors?
PM: I think the simplicity of our society makes Tonga more attractive for people who live in very complex, busy and sophisticated lifestyles in many developed countries would be attractive to their interests. And it may be because they could see Tonga a safer and more peaceful destination to take.
Further, the friendliness of the people and their closeness to nature, such as the ongoing and active promotion of eco-tourism in our society, subsistence economy and lifestyles of people in the locality of the communities would also contribute.
Forbes: How would you like to see your country when you leave the office?
PM: I sincerely hope they would continue to live within the means of what is available. It is unfortunate that we have been relying on remittances for so long and seem to have lost the sense of self-reliance. And similar to that, we have been seeking the assistance of donor countries, in terms of budget constraints for some times, which is also not good. However, I believe we have reasonable resources, and we are to learn how to live within the boundary of our financial capacity. I want to see Tonga be satisfied with what it has in order to be self-sufficient.
The two representatives from Forbes left the country on Thursday 19th February, after spending more than a week collating information for this very significant project. According to Forbes representatives, it is expected they would complete the assignment by late March, and is timely for distribution before the Coronation.