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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

Minister ‘Akolo welcomes Pacific EPA progress

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8 August 2011 The Pacific is progressing steadily towards negotiating a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU).

"I am pleased to say that as your Lead Spokesperson on the Pacific ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations, we have made very good progress since we last met," said Tonga's Minister for Trade and Labour, Commerce and Industries, Honourable Lisiate ‘Akolo.

Minister ‘Akolo is also chairing the Pacific ACP Joint Fisheries and Trade Ministers' Meeting currently underway in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

"I wish to thank the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and its staff who have worked tirelessly to progress and implement the directions of Pacific ACP Trade Ministers from their meeting in February 2011," said Minister ‘Akolo.

The meeting of PACP Joint Fisheries and Trade Ministers seeks to consider various fisheries-related issues arising out of PACP-EU EPA negotiations.

Fisheries issues are one of the key contentious issues for the Pacific region in its negotiations with the EU.

"These issues must be dealt with if we are to take the negotiations forward," said Minister ‘Akolo.

"The work set before Ministers today will enable the Pacific to secure a meaningful comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, one that brings substantial development benefits to our communities and which will set a firm foundation for our future economic wellbeing."

As Lead Spokesperson on the Pacific ACP-EU Economic Partnership negotiations, Minister ‘Akolo plays a key role in communicating the region's interests to the EU on EPA negotiations and reporting back to PACP Ministers accordingly.

The European Union has been negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements with the African, Caribbean and Pacific States since September 2002.

The Pacific has been working on these negotiations for over six years, and is seeking a successful conclusion of negotiations by the end of 2011.

Pacific ACP Trade Ministers convene tomorrow to consider the outcomes of today's Joint Fisheries and Trade Ministers' Meeting, and to deliberate on a way forward for EPA negotiations with the EU.

Pacific ACP States include all Forum Island Countries: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.


Issued by the: Forum Secretariat, Article by Mue Bentley Fisher, Suva, Fiji, 2011.


Fisheries remains key to Pacific trade negotiations

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 August 2011 10:06 )
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