TOURISM was amongst top priority areas of talks between Tonga and China during a recent bilateral trade and investment trip led by Lord Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga, Lord Tu’ivakano to Zhoushan City in China.
While in China the Lord Speaker met with China International Economic Cooperation, where they pledge to set up a China-Tonga service center for tourists and launch vacation cruises program in Tonga’s ocean to be funded by the China Development Council (CDC).
The CDC Council also endeavors to fund the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to cooperate with Tonga Civil Aviation to open up airline charter travel services from China to Tonga via Fiji.
China Development Council also proposed to set up a diversified tourism project combining air and marine services aiming to attract more tourist to visit our Kingdom and to further boost tourism in Tonga.
Lord Tu’ivakano also met with the Xiepeng Ocean Investment and Development (Shanghai) Co. Ltd, a company which has rich experience in investment and operation of economic development zone.
The Xiepeng Ocean Investment and Development (Shanghai) Co. Ltd wishes to organize cultural exchanges between the People’s Republic of China and the Kingdom of Tonga to deepen their cooperation in culture and education.
The Hon. Speaker also held talks with the Directors of Weichai Group Company where they are interested to visit Tonga and find ways where they may help to reduce the cost of electricity for the people.
Weichai is a 687.7 billion RMB company which makes an average annual profit of 43.7 billion RMB per year. The company is also interested in assisting with marine engines.
In meeting with the President of China Ningbo Ocean-Going Co. Ltd, Mr. Wuhai Pan extended his wish to the Lord Speaker that he wants to set up a university in Tonga specializing in ocean and marine education where other students from the Pacific region can enroll here in the Kingdom.
Lord Tu’ivakano also held talks with the Dean of the Zhejiang Ocean University, Mr. Wu Changwen, both parties discussed possible ways to develop and carry out collaborative activities such as exchanging of faculty members and students, opportunities for full-degree fee paying undergraduate/graduate study, joint projects to research, teaching and faculty development amongst other issues.
On the other hand, the Xiepeng Ocean Investment and Development (Shanghai) Co. Ltd, wishes to explore cooperative projects such as providing funds, management technologies, establish tourism joint venture and build the related facilities including hotels in Tonga.
The Xiepeng’s Company that is currently invests in the Sino-South Pacific Economic Development in Tonga also wishes to develop a synthetically productive agriculture by combining the stages of manufacturing, processing, storage, logistics and sales in Tonga.
While in China, the President of the Zhoushan Shipping Manufacturing Company Ltd told Lord Speaker they wish to build fishing boats and donate more than 50 vessels to Tonga to further develop fishing of local fishermen and to help them maintain their livelihood.
These are outcomes of a weeklong bilateral trade and investment trip led by the Lord Speaker, Hon. Tu’ivakano to Zhoushan City in China from February 10-18.
Upon arrival in China, the Tongan delegation were met by the Mayor of Zhoushan City with the Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the Municipal Government.
The Mayor also hosted a welcoming dinner in honour of the Hon. Speaker and his delegation at the Sheraton Hotel, Zhoushan where the delegation stayed during the trip.
Zhousan City is a developing province in China and is dubbed as the New City. It is located on the northeastern Zhejiang province of Eastern China consisting solely of islands.
In 2011 the province was approved by Government as a state-level new area where their economy relies on fishing as the primary industry, ship building and repairing, shipping light industry, tourism and service industry that has grown to be the major contributor to the local economy.
The Hon. Speaker and his government delegation of seven returned to Nuku’alofa last week.
The delegation to China were: Lord Tu’ivakano (Head of the Delegation) Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Semisi Fakahau (Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food & Forestry), Mr. Taniela Hoponoa (Deputy CEO, MAFFF), Mr. Claude Tupou (Deputy CEO, Ministry of Education & Training), Mr. Nonga Soakai (Deputy CEO, Principal Tonga Maritime Technical Institute, Ministry of Education & Training), Ms. Elsie Fukofuka (Senior Assistant Secretary Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Mrs. Sepiuta Fusimalohi-Moa (PA to the Speaker of Parliament) and Mr. Alvin Sika (Private Sector Representative).
The China trip was organized and funded by the Tonga Commissioner for Trade and Tourism, Guangdong Province, China, Mr. Tony Chen and his office with no expenses incurred on the Tonga Government.