The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Tonga have signed a US$5 million grant agreement to help restore and accelerate private sector-led economic growth in Tonga after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agreement, under the ADB’s Tonga Economic Recovery Support Programme, was jointly signed by ADB Pacific Department Deputy Director General Emma Veve and Tonga’s Minister of Finance, Tevita Lavemaau.
“The ADB supported grants will help expedite the Government of Tonga’s ongoing reforms, while providing much-needed budget support,” said Minister Lavemaau. “Strengthening fiscal management will be absolutely critical during the COVID-19 recovery phase.”
“The reform program is expected to spur inclusive private sector-led economic growth in Tonga,” said Veve.”The government’s continued investments in strengthening its economy and systems and building economic resilience will result in a more progressive Tonga supporting a higher quality of life.”
Reforms supported through the program will help enable Tonga to manage its external public debt, redirect public spending towards development needs, and increase impact through improved public financial management.
An enabling environment for private sector growth will be promoted through an improved international commercial arbitration framework, enhanced access to finance and supervision of nonbank financial institutions, and increased number of higher-skilled workers ready for deployment.
The programme financed in close collaboration with other development partners, builds on reforms ADB has supported in Tonga since 2009 to strengthen public financial management and build macroeconomic resilience.