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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 Tourism Roadshow in New Zealand a success

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7 September 2011 Tonga's first New Zealand Roadshow in 3 years has concluded with the team making a significant impression on the Kiwi travel industry. The team, consisting of Ministry of Tourism staff, operators from across Tonga and the 2011 Miss Heilala, travelled around New Zealand promoting Tonga to key tourism partners and businesses.

The Roadshow began on Monday 29 August with seminars in Christchurch, Mt Maunganui, Dunedin and Hamilton. Wrapping up the successful week were two large-scale seminars with the first on Wednesday 31 August at the luxury Langham Hotel in Auckland and the second at the North Shore's Spencer on Byron on Thursday 1 September. This is the first time that a Tongan Tourism Roadshow has covered the Hamilton and Mt Maunganui regions as well as Dunedin in the South Island.

"We have had a positive response and are very pleased with the response received from the seminars", says Tourism Advisor, Mr. Paul Davis. "The last New Zealand Roadshow was held 3 years ago and feedback from this trip shows there's not always information on Tonga available to the Travel Trade. We hope this Roadshow has filled some of those knowledge gaps as well as given operators an opportunity to widen their network".

Paul continues by explaining: "It was great timing for the event with preparations in place for the Rubgy World Cup and the opening game against the All Blacks has created a lot of interest on Tonga".

The Ministry's Interim Marketing Plan for 2010 highlighted the need to refocus marketing efforts in New Zealand and Australia. In their approaches for 2011, the Ministry has cancelled participation in travel shows where Tonga would usually be present, choosing instead to redirect strategy at improving the Kingdom's profile in key markets.

Along with the Roadshow, other key efforts include the Joint Venture promotional programs with key wholesalers targeting Tonga and appointing independent marketing agency bcg2, based in Auckland. The agency have developed an exciting new brand for Tonga as well as assisted in marketing projects and the design of Tonga's revamped website.

"We have a long way to go", says Marketing Manager, Sandra Fifita. "But we are adamant that the promotional programs in place will assist us in our efforts to improve our profile in key markets. Competition is very high and we need to be more consistent in our approach. We are looking forward to implementing online promotions to gain wholesaler confidence in Tonga and improve the range of products available for visitors".

The Ministry is pleased with the exceptional support offered by long-standing partner Air New Zealand. As a follow-up to the event, the Ministry is now working closely to develop programs targeting the Travel and Sales Consultants to bring their families to Tonga and experience the Kingdom firsthand.


Issued by the: Ministry of Tourism, Tonga Visitors Bureau, Nuku'alofa, 2011.
Last Updated ( Friday, 07 December 2012 15:20 )
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