Tonga and China sign TP$32 million projects agreement after signing Belt and Road initiative

Kuo toe fakamo’oni ‘a Tonga mo Siaina ki ha aleapau fo’ou ki ha polōseki fe’unga mo e $32 miliona Tonga. Ko e hili ‘eni e fakamo’oni ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia ‘i Nuku’alofa he ‘aho 13 ‘o Nōvema' ki ha aleapau ke kau atu ‘a Tonga ki he polokalama fokotu’utu’u langa fakalakalaka ‘a Siaina ‘oku ‘iloa ko e Belt and Road initiative. Ko e fakamo’oni ko ia’, ne tu’unga ai hono toloi ‘e Siaina ‘a hono tā fakafoki ‘e Tonga ‘ene nō lau miliona ki Siaina na’e totonu ke kamata he ta’u ni’.

China and Tonga have signed a contract for projects worth TP$32 million (RMB 100,000,000).

The Prime Minister’s Office said yesterday the projects are “yet to be finalised by both parties.”

This comes after the Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva and Chinese Ambassador in Tonga have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Belt and Road Initiative with the approval of Cabinet.

“The signing of the MOU was done in Nuku’alofa before the Hon Prime Minister and delegation departed for Port Moresby on 13 November,” the Prime Minister’s spokesperson Lōpeti Senituli told Kaniva news.

Senituli has confirmed reports that the signing was made after a reprieve from Beijing on the timing of Tonga’s debt repayments shortly before an onerous schedule to repay loans was due to start.

The concessional loan had been deferred for five years.

Senituli also recounted how Tonga would benefit under the Belt and Road initiative.

“We are already exporting squash to China,” he said.

“We are working on adding seaweed and sea cucumber as well as other agricultural and marine products to that list of exports.

“There has been an increase in the number of Chinese investors in Tonga especially in the tourism sector and an increase in the actual numbers of Chinese tourists.

“On top of that a further agreement was signed between Tonga and China prior to the APEC meetings for a further grant aid of RMB 100,000,000 for projects yet to be finalised by both parties.

He said the aim of the initiative is: “To promote the exchange of goods, technology, capital and people through mutual connectivity and mutual learning between the participating countries through promoting coordinated development and common progress in economy, society, environment and culture and the building of a community of a shared future for mankind”.

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