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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

Tonga's Seasonal Workers Scheme in Australia, a success

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21 September 2011

The Ministry of Labour, Commerce & Industries is pleased to inform that Tonga's participation in the Pacific Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme (PSWPS) with Australia has been a significant success.

The MOU was signed with Australia in late 2008 and the scheme commenced in early 2009. Since its commencement 561 seasonal workers have been recruited under the scheme. Of this total, 505 workers have been recruited from Tonga making us the lead source country and major contributor to the success of the pilot scheme. There is an opportunity for Tonga to further cement our position as lead sending country by maximizing numbers in the remaining approximately 1,900 visas that are still available under the pilot scheme.

Recently, the Australian Government has invited Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu to join the four (4) pilot countries; Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Tuvalu.

The Ministry continues to work with the key stakeholders in the pilot scheme to ensure optimal results and urges selected Tongan seasonal workers to uphold our prevailing reputation through hard work and compliance with the relevant Regulations and principles of the PSWPS. Only through these would optimal results for Tonga be achieved.


Issued by the: Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries, Nuku'alofa, 19 September 2011.

Last Updated ( Monday, 17 October 2011 23:00 )
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