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Tonga marks International Customs Day 2018

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26th January, 2018 Tonga’s Department of Customs revenue collection in the last financial year reached a record high of $141,080,389.50 which was approximately 13 million pa’anga over the target that the government set for the department to collect.

This was revealed by the Minister for Revenue and Customs Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu in a program to mark the International Customs Day under the theme ‘A secure business environment for economic development’ at the customs head office this morning.

Speaking to more than 50 guests Hon. Tapueluelu acknowledged the Customs vital roles of ensuring border security, facilitating trade and collecting revenue for the country contributes significantly to the business environment and ultimately economic development.

“In the last financial year alone, the value of import duties and taxes waived for these key sectors totaled around $56, 444, 880. 46. Already in this current financial year, government has contributed up to $30, 682, 230.48 in the form of similar import duty and tax concessions.”


“From the government perspective, we will remain committed, and stand ready to support specific interventions by Customs that will help create an environment secure for legitimate businesses to trade, operate and flourish,” he said.

Hon. Tapueluelu  said that under the theme of this year’s World Customs, “Customs administration all over the world are encouraged to look at how they can create an environment for businesses that will foster their participation in cross-border trade, and, ultimately, how they can best serve the people and empower entrepreneurs.”

He told the gathering that the government, through the Customs administration also contribute to the development of key sectors of our economy through tax concessions for key sectors such as education, health, fishers, agriculture, tourism, energy, infrastructure development and the local manufacturing sector to name a few.

Deputy CEO for Customs Mr. Kelemete Vahe said Customs has put forward pathways to build a secure business environment for trade in working together with business partners and stakeholders. Although much have been done to advance Customs on all aspects but still there are room for improvements to be made.

Mr. Vahe thanked line ministries, stakeholders and developments partners for assisting Customs through their duties in protecting Tonga, facilitating trade as well as supporting revenue collection for the government.

Present in the ceremony were the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Tonga, H.E. Mr. Tetsuya Ishii, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Tonga, H.E. Mr. Wang Baodong, President of the Free Church of Tonga, Rev. Mr. Semisi Fonua, government officials and guests.

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change & Communications.

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 February 2018 13:03 )  

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