Economy in Tonga

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Economy—overview: The economy's base is agriculture which contributes 32% to GDP. Squash coconuts bananas and vanilla beans are the main crops and agricultural exports make up two-thirds of total exports. The country must import a high proportion of its food mainly from New Zealand. The industrial sector accounts for only 10% of GDP. Tourism is the primary source of hard currency earnings; the country also remains dependent on sizable external aid and remittances to offset its trade deficit. The economy grew at a declining rate in 1993-96. The government has been turning its attention to further development of the private sector and the reduction of the budget deficit.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$239 million (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 1% (1996 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2 250 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 32%

industry: 10%

services: 58% (1996)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 2% (1997 est.)

Labor force:

total: 36 665 (1994)

by occupation: agriculture 65% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: 11.8% (FY93/94)


revenues: $49 million

expenditures: $120 million including capital expenditures of $75 million (FY96/97 est.)

Industries: tourism fishing

Industrial production growth rate: 1.9% (FY95/96)

Electricity—capacity: 7 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 30 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 284 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: coconuts copra bananas vanilla beans cocoa coffee ginger black pepper; fish


total value: $15.3 million (f.o.b. 1996)

commodities: squash fish vanilla root crops coconut oil

partners: Japan 43% US 19% Canada 14% NZ 5% Australia 5% (1996 est.)


total value: $82.9 million (f.o.b. 1996)

commodities: food products live animals machinery and transport equipment manufactures fuels chemicals

partners: NZ 34% Australia 16% US 10% UK 8% Japan 6% (1996 est.)

Debt—external: $70 million (1995)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $37 million (1994)

Currency: 1 pa'anga (T$) = 100 seniti

Exchange rates: pa'anga (T$) per US$1—1.3112 (November 1997) 1.2323 (1996) 1.2709 (1995) 1.3202 (1994) 1.3841 (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

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