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Fiji Time: 6:39 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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ADB releases reforms

Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, February 02, 2013

THE Asian Development Bank has released a private sector assessment for Tonga in an effort to improve the business environment and promote growth.

In a statement, ADB said the far-reaching private sector oriented reforms would bring long-term benefits to the Tongan economy despite immediate economic challenges.

It said the private sector assessment recommended ways to improve the business environment and promote growth by removing constraints that raise business costs and discourage investment.

"It identifies policies to growth and alleviates poverty by reducing the role of the state in the economy, upgrading infrastructure, improving access to finance and modernising business laws." ADB said Tonga had embraced a number of private sector reforms aimed at improving the environment for business in Tonga.

The reforms include passing a new Companies Act in 2009, the installation of an electronic registry to reduce the cost of starting a business, simplifying the business licensing regime and embarking on a program to improve the efficiency of Tonga's state-owned enterprises.

"The study's recommendations will help address constraints to private sector growth and development." ADB said its private sector assessment of Tonga was prepared in collaboration with the Tongan government and private sector. It aimed to assist with job creation, suggesting ways in which the country could prosper by removing constraints to investment.