Loan scheme benefits overseas Tongan tertiary students

Hundreds of tertiary education students in Tonga who wanted to continue studying overseas are now eligible for lower-cost-credit loans under a new Government-backed scheme launched last week.

The TP$10 million funding scheme, administered by Tonga Development Bank, allows TP$25,0000 funding for tertiary students to pay for their school fees and course related-costs.

The government agreed with the bank to offer loans to borrowers at 1 – 4 percent interest per year.

The 2014/15 government budget initiative will also benefit new businesses, support investments in rural areas and outer islands and promote small scale and family owned businesses.

Other beneficiaries included agricultural, fisheries, forestry, engineering and manufacturing sectors.

Tonga’s Minister for Finance and National Planning, Hon. Dr ‘Aisake Eke said: “This is part of a series of government led initiatives including the Investment Incentives launched recently which aims to expand private investment and to make Tonga an attractive destination for both domestic and foreign investment by enacting investor friendly policies, introducing new incentives to key growth areas and facilitating ease of doing in business.”

The CEO for the Ministry of Finance and National Planning Tatafu Moeaki together with Mrs. Lita Kami, Managing Director and CEO for Tonga Development Bank signed the agreement on behalf of their respective agencies.

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The new loan scheme is allocated as follows:

FundsGeneral ObjectivesRepayment PeriodMax Loan
Agriculture Marketing and Production Fund
  1. To boost exporter’s confidence by providing a facility to allow the early payment to primary producers for their exports
  2. Investment in expanded agricultural production and value added activities.
9  monthsRepaid end of periodT$100k
Fisheries Development  and Export Fund
  1. Assist fishermen, vessel owner and exporters to generate increased exports, income and employment in the fisheries sector
9 monthsRepaid end of periodT$30k
Tourism Loan Fund
  1. To promote the development of new tourism products and event.
  2. To improve the quality of small-medium accommodations
  3. To develop a clean and beautiful tourist environment
  4. To support and encourage community participation in development of heritage sites and cultural events
  5. To support coordination within the tourism sector
1 yearRepaid end of periodT$25k
Manufacturing Loan Fund
  1. To promote the development of competitive and  value added products
  2. To stimulate innovation and product diversification
  3. To support production and marketing capacity of export ready manufacturers
  4. To promote and encourage cooperation and coordination in manufacturing sector
1 yearRepaid end of periodT$25k
Livestock Loan Fund
  1. To support livestock projects with economic benefits which might also benefit the community and aims at improving living conditions in rural areas.
9 monthsRepaid end of period



Forestry Loan Fund

1. To support forestry investment with economic benefits which might also benefit the community and aims at improving living conditions in rural areas.

2. To support nurseries specifically for sandalwood seedlings production and other seedlings such as fruit trees, vegetable seedlings etc.

9 monthsRepaid end of periodT$50k
Construction Loan Fund

1.   To support and cater for investments that require capital equipment , tools and safety gear.

2.   To provide capacity building and training in specialized fields.

9 monthsRepaid end of period1.T$50k2.T$10k
Retail and Wholesale Loan Fund

1.   To support small medium enterprises in the retail and wholesale business with expansion and service development.

9 monthsRepaid end of periodT$25k
Other priority sectors 

1.  To support other financially viable investments currently not provided for in the current fund allocation.

9 monthsRepaid end of periodT$25k
Student Overseas Tertiary Education Loan Fund
  1. To promote and enhance the academic and professional skills of Tongans that need to further their study abroad but cannot afford the costs, diploma level and upwards.
  2. To support qualifications from an accredited institution.
4 yearsRepaid end of period T$25k


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