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Commerce, Consumer,Trade, Innovation & Labour


Welcome to the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism as effective from 1 May 2012, and in line with restructuring, the following ministerial re-assignments as was known as Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries. Your online front door to Tonga government services on companies, investment, industrial relations, labour market information, intellectual property rights, consumer rights, occupational safety and health.


Minister for Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour - Hon. Dr. Tu'i Uata
CEO for Labour, Commerce and Industries - Mr. Edgar Cocker


The Ministry of Labour, Commerce, and Industries is the primary licensor, control body for Labour, Commerce, and Industries in the Kingdom of Tonga.

This ministry controls Company Registration, Issue of Development License, Issue of Trade License, Issue of Export License, Issue of Import License,Grant of Incentivess andLease of Industrial Land. The Ministry also operates the following service; Industrial and Business Advisory Service; Export Market Promotion;Skills Training;Assistance with Employment in the Private Sector;Trade Promotion.

The Ministry has seven divisions which includes:

  • Labour
  • Commerce
  • Intellectual Property & Company Registration
  • Co-operatives and Credit Unions - The Cooperative Societies and Credit Union Division is committed to promote and advance the Cooperatives and Credit Unions Movements in Tonga by fostering self-sustaining cooperatives and credit unions that create employment, generate income and enhance the social welfare of their respective communities. These are guided by the Cooperatives Societies Act, 1973 and Credit Unions Act, 1977. The Division draws its focus on the following services: 1. Promotion of Cooperative Society Movement's Movement.;  2. Training of Cooperatives and Credit Unions members.; 3. Provide inspection of Accounts.; 4. Auditing of Financial Reports. ;5. Policy Advice and Law Enforcement.
  • Trade - Tonga Trade Division of the Ministry was established in January 1997. The Division dedicated to assist in expanding and diversifying Tonga's export earnings by fostering and promoting sustainable export trade. The core functions of Tonga Trade are as follows:  1. Export Promotion; 2. Market Research and Development; 3. Trade Policy and Information
  • Small Industries - The Small Industries Centre is consists of thirty five (35) industries from both the manufacturing and service sectors. All factory sheds and nursery buildings are fully occupied and empty land plots are also sub-leased for the purpose of constructing private owned buildings.
  • Industry - The Industry Division is committed to foster investment and to facilitate industrial development in Tonga. These are guided by the Foreign Investment Act, 2002 and the Industrial Development Act of 1978 . The Industry Division draws its focus on the following services: - 1) Management of the Industrial Development Incentives; 2) Investment Promotion Activities; 3) Private Sector Development Services; 4) Investment Policies


Some useful information regarding business start-up procedures: (Download a full Business Startup Kit)


For more information on the services available from MLCI, contact them at the below address.

MLCI Head Office in Nuku'alofa

Mr. Edgar Cocker, CEO Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation & Labour, Latai Estate, Cnr Tupoulahi & Salote Road, Fasi-mo e-afi P.O. Box 110 Nuku'alofa TONGA

Award-Winning New Zealand Chef Robert Oliver Films TV Series Featuring Tongan Food

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3 July 2013  New Zealand based chef Robert Oliver is in Tonga this week filming a programme on Tongan food and cooking, as part of TV series promoting food from the Pasifik food, airing in New Zealand later this year.  Robert Oliver's visit is sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, Tourism and Labour, as part of a programme to help facilitate and accelerate growth in Tonga's food and beverage sector.

The Ministry is working with other key stakeholders to develop the Me'akai Cook Book - Tonga Project in an effort to further enhance the promotion of Tonga's Tourism, agricultural and fisheries sectors at both the local and international markets.  The project is based on the renowned Me'akai Cook Book authored by Mr Oliver.  This Cook Book celebrates six South Pacific nations, their culture, cooking and traditions and promotes the ‘farm to the table' concept introducing the delicious local food and cuisine which are available off the typical tourist route.

Part of the project includes the focus on Tongan food and beverage products and Tongan cuisine as an additional component of Tonga's Tourism Destination marketing. The episode explores the unique local cuisine and organic produce available in Tonga.  Over the seven days of shooting Robert and local chefs visit food heroes will look at unique Tongan cuisine, including a Royal Food Story that filming the preparation and the Royal Luncheon celebrating His Majesty's Birthday.

Local chefs will work alongside Mr Oliver to create  distinct specific island "cuisine" based on local food culture and formatted to meet food outlet menu needs;  aiming at designing a tourism food brand strategy which is Tongan based and same time delivering more authentic visitor experience and supports local farmers

The project links with existing Tongan programs including the Buy Tonga Made Campaign and PHAMA to ensure local pride in local products and realistic and achievable export pathways exists and can be accessed for quality Tongan agriculture exports.  The key objectives are to gain good exposure of Tongan cuisine, tourism properties, attractions and Tongan product through the TV series in New Zealand and Australia.

A finale lunch will be held on Sunday 7th July at the Scenic Hotel, where Mr. Oliver and the local chefs will prepare a 5 course meal inspired by the culinary and agricultural treasures of Tonga. The banquet will be filmed and forms part of the final section of the television episode.

The support is part of the Ministry's thrust to grow Tonga's tourism industry.  Tourism has been identified as the major economic development opportunity for the country, with potential to provide broad based employment and income generation, as well as support the retention of cultural traditions and the sustainable management of the nation's environmental assets.  The Tonga Strategic Development Framework highlights the priority placed on growing the tourism sector.


Issued by the: Ministry of Commerce, Tourism and Labour, Nuku'alofa, 2013
Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 July 2013 22:08 )
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