THANK you for posting my last letters on the Matangi Tonga Online. I have received a lot of positive and supportive comments from Dubai, Fiji, Tonga, USA, NZ. I would like to update everyone on what is happening at the moment. A Project called “Project Revival” is the result of all that background work. It is a bit like Wikipedia, everyone can have a say or propose ideas. It is intended to support Tonga’s private sector because it is very weak. Total exports is only around $US22 million a year. Income from Tourism is probably around $40 million a year etc. We need to increase it by supporting what is happening in Tonga at the moment.
The project objectives is to start with the following:
1. Increase Tourist numbers from 40,000 to 100,000 per year. If we can get 200,000 people world wide to support the project this would be a piece of cake. We are looking for someone to co-ordinate this initiative.
2. Increase fishing activities and export by about $20 million.
No one has expressed interest in this initiative.
3. Increase rootcrop export from $1 million to $10 million.
I am co-ordinating this initiative with Sione Tupouniua.
4. Export water overseas, perhaps $5 million to $10 million
Saimone Helu has suggested Edgar Cocker maybe interested in this initiative.
5. Setup a chain of stores overseas to market our fish, handicrafts, root crops etc.
I have talked to the Melie Mei Langi people if they can franchise their business in NZ, Aust., USA to achieve this goal. They said they will think about it. I am hoping they will make this bold move.
6. Control anthracnose of fruit trees. I am still working on this.
7. Others to come later…
If you wish to make comments you can do so on my facebook page or email me at semisipone [at] yahoo [dot] com.
semisipone [at] yahoo [dot] com