Tonga planning to join EU trade agreement

Tonga is planning to join a European Union trade agreement it hopes will attract  more investment and more efficient access to European markets.

The Economic Partnership Agreement governs EU imports from the Pacific region, mostly palm oil, coffee, coconut, and fish and caviar.

EU exports to the Pacific region consist mostly of electrical machinery and equipment.

The EPA offers more efficient customs procedures and better co-operation between administrations.

Tonga hopes to meet with EU officials next month to discuss progress.

According to CEO of the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Innovation, Trade, and Labour, Edgar Cocker,  membership may be ratified by the Privy Council by 2020.

Cocker said a  trade agreement with the EU would  help attract large investors into the Kingdom of Tonga. That is what we want.

Tonga’s application is supported by Papua New Guinea and Fiji, which have already joined.

PNG and Fiji exports to the EU have been exempt from duty and quota controls.

According to the world Bank, Tonga has a massive trade deficit of nearly $200 million.

The top export destinations of Tonga are the United States, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Australia.

The main points

  • Tonga is planning to join a European Union trade agreement it hopes will attract more investment and more efficient access to European markets.
  • The Economic Partnership Agreement governs EU imports from the Pacific region, mostly palm oil, coffee, coconut, and fish and caviar.

For more information

Economic Partnership Agreement

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