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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

Lord Prime Minister Promotes Tonga's New Tourism Marketing Campaign

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15 May 2013 Tonga has launched its new tourism marketing campaign in New Zealand and Australia on 12 May, featuring advertising on television and outdoor billboards in New Zealand, and online advertising in both countries.

Using the tagline “the True South Pacific”, the campaign has been designed to highlight the unique aspects of Tonga and the wide range of holiday options available across the 176 islands that make up the Kingdom.  Running through May and June, the campaign will raise awareness and offer holiday options to Kiwis and Aussies just as they make decisions about their winter South Pacific holidays.

Tonga’s Prime Minister and Acting Minister for Commerce, Tourism and Labour, Lord Tu’ivakano said that “this is a difficult time for Tonga’s tourism sector, and this new campaign demonstrates Government’s commitment to boosting tourism development”.  Lord Tu’ivakano added that “Tourism is Government’s top priority for economic development and the potential to spur connecting economic activities in the Kingdom is vital. Recent market research shows awareness of Tonga as a holiday destination is relatively low, so investing in this profile-building campaign starting in 2013 is an essential part of our plan to boost tourism growth”, he said

Lord Tu’ivakano further stated that over the past two years, Tonga has been working hard on tourism development, with the support of the New Zealand Aid Programme. Despite New Zealand back-tracting on our development commitments, “Government have focused on improving the quality of the visitor experience, and now have an accommodation grading scheme, Tonga Mark, to give assurance to visitors and to travel agents who sell Tonga holidays” he said.  This year we will extend the grading scheme into transport, taxis and attractions.  A new domestic airline, Real Tonga, has commenced operations and is expanding services to the Outer Islands.

“A variety of changes are being put in place to improve Tonga’s efficiency in managing tourism and to make Tonga a more attractive destination.   We are in the middle of developing a Tourism Roadmap, to direct the development of tourism over the next 10 years, and this project is due for completion by June.  We are about to pass new regulations to better manage the whale watch sector.  Tonga is one of only three countries in the world where visitors can swim with whales so it is vital we manage the visitor experience well and protect the whales themselves.  Legislation controlling marriage was also being investigated to see if we can make things easier for visitors and open up the weddings market for Tonga”.

Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano concluded by inviting ‘all tourism operators, accommodation, communities and to the nation to link in, capitalize on this marketing opportunity and help Government’s first modernized consumer campaign to boost tourism development as access to Tonga is quite easy and inexpensive.’ “Tonga is not as developed as some other South Pacific countries, so we can offer visitors a truly authentic South Pacific experience he said.  The campaign will show those unique sides of Tonga and will also offer holiday packages at a great price he said.



Last Updated ( Sunday, 19 May 2013 12:42 )
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