Tonga to introduce Market Development Facility

The Tonga government will be introducing Australia’s Market Development Facility in the kingdom.

The Australian state-funded economic initiative states its mission is to boost local employment and income opportunities.

A statement said the facility will be established with an estimated value of activities worth around AU$3.8 million in its initial four-year phase.

The Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Viliami Uasike Latu and Australia's High Commissioner, Rachael Moore signed a subsidiary arrangement for MDF, on 30 January 2023 in Nuku'alofa.

The program is also confirmed to start recruiting local staff.

The Ministry of Trade and Economic Development stated that MDF is currently active in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste and Vanuatu funded by Australia and New Zealand and implemented by Palladium, in partnership with Swiss contact.

The MDF is a multi-country initiative which promotes sustainable economic development through higher incomes for women and men in partner countries. It connects individuals, businesses, governments and NGOs with each other, and with markets at home and abroad.

MDF works in the region to boost employment and income opportunities in priority sectors such as agribusiness and tourism.