Media Statement from the Tonga Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests (MAFF)
9 April 2021: The following information is to correct any misinformation regarding the Ministry’s partnership with the Beijing Machinery Repair Company Limited (BMRCL).
1. The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and its staff are not involved in any way in the partnership between MAFF and BMRCL.
2. The tractors donated by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Tonga, was given to MAFF, and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Tonga who handed these tractors to the Government of Tonga, has nothing to do with MAFF’s decision on how to use these tractors. It is the intended purpose of MAFF to assist more local growers to boost agricultural production by assisting the newly established BMRCL with agreement on a more affordable and readily available tractor service to the local growers.
3. It is not the intention of MAFF to compete with the local tractor operators but to supplement the need for more service providers on land preparation and at the same time to provide services on repair and maintenance of these tractors in Tonga. One of the major challenges in Tonga is the lack of technicians who can provide services on repair and maintenance of tractors in Tonga. Part of the agreement with BMRCL is to provide these services on repair, maintenance, as well as training of local technicians which is lacking in Tonga.
4. BMRCL was approved a business license under the Foreign Investment Act in September 2017.
5. The partnership between MAFF and BMRCL was approved by Cabinet Decision 1198 on 3 November 2017.
6. The partnership between MAFF and BMRCL was officially signed and became effective in February 2018.
7. Duty and taxes do apply to the contract between MAFF and BMRCL. Under the Investment Cooperation Agreement between MAFF and BMRCL it states that, “BMRCL shall be responsible for all taxes and CT or any other charge payable by law over the whole business operation”.
8. The Tokomololo facility was not given by MAFF to BMRCL. It is currently rented by BMRCL, and the Company is directly paying the annual rental fee to the owner of the land.
FANONGONONGO KI HE MITIA
Potungaue Ngoue, Me’atokoni mo e Vaotātā (MAFF)
9 ‘o ‘Epeleli 2021: ‘Oku tuku atu ‘a e ngaahi fakamatala ko eni koe’uhi ke fakatonutonu ‘a e ngaahi fakamatala hala fekau’aki pea mo e fengaue’aki ‘a e Potungaue pea mo e Beijing Machinery Repair Company Limited (BMRCL).
1. ‘Oku ‘ikai ke ‘iai ha kaunga ‘a e Embassy ‘o e Pule’anga ‘o Siaina pea mo hono kau ngaue ki he fengaue’aki ‘a e MAFF pea mo e BMRCL.
2. Ko e ngaahi palau na’e foaki na’e foaki ia ‘e he Pule’anga Siaina ki he Pule’anga Tonga ki he MAFF, pea na’e fakafou ia ‘i he Embassy ‘o e Pule’anga ‘o Siaina, ka ‘oku ‘ikai ke ‘iai ha’anau kaunga ki he tu’utu’uni ‘a e MAFF ki hono ngaue’aki ‘a e ngaahi palau koia. Ko e taumu’a ‘a e MAFF ke ne tokoni’i ‘a e kakai ‘oku ngoue ‘i Tonga ni ke fakalakalaka hake ‘a ‘enau ngoue ‘aki hono tokoni’i ‘a e BMRCL ke nau fakahoko ha ngaahi sevesi palau ‘oku ma’ama’a ange mo lahi ange ki he kakai ngoue ‘o Tonga ni.
3. ‘Oku ‘ikai ko e taumu’a ia ‘a e MAFF ke fe’auhi pea mo e ngaahi pisinisi palau ‘i Tonga ni, ka ke fakaai pea mo tokoni’i ‘a e fiema’u ke to e lahi ange ‘a e sevesi ki hono teuteu’i ‘a e kelekele, pea ‘i he taimi tatau ke fakahoko ha sevesi ki hono monomono mo tauhi ‘a e palau ko eni ‘i Tonga ni. Ko e taha ‘a e ngaahi faingata’a ‘i Tonga ni ko e si’isi’i ‘a e kau ‘enisinia ki hono monomono mo tauhi ‘a e ngaahi palau ‘i Tonga. ‘Oku kau ‘i he aleapau pea mo e BMRCL ‘a ‘enau fakahoko ‘a e ngaahi sevesi monomono mo tauhi fakataha pea mo hono ako’i ha kau ‘enisinia ‘i Tonga ni koe’uhi ‘oku lolotonga tonounou ‘a Tonga ni ‘i he tafa’aki ko eni.
4. Na’e tali ‘a e laiseni pisinisi ‘a e BMRCL fakatatau ki he Lao ki he ‘Inivesi Muli ‘i Sepitema ‘o e 2017.
5. Na’e tali ‘a e aleapau ‘a e MAFF pea mo e BMRCL ‘aki ‘a e Tu’utu’uni Kapineti 1198 ‘i he ‘aho 3 ‘o Novema 2017.
6. Na’e fakahoko ‘a e aleapau ‘i he vaha’a ‘a e MAFF pea mo e BMRCL ‘i Fepueli ‘o e 2018.
7. ‘Oku kau ‘a e totongi tute mo e tukuhau ‘i he aleapau ‘a e MAFF pea mo e BMRCL. Fakatatau ki he aleapau ‘a e MAFF pea mo e BMRCL ‘oku pehe, “Kuo pau ke totongi ‘e he BMRCL kotoa ‘a e ngaahi tukuhau mo e tute pea mo ha ngaahi totongi kehe pe fakatatau ki he lao lolotonga ‘a hono fakahoko ‘a ‘enau pisinisi”.
8. Na’e ‘ikai ke foaki ‘e he MAFF ‘a e va’a ‘i Tokomololo ki he BMRCL. ‘Oku lolotonga nofo totongi ‘a e BMRCL ‘i ai pea ‘oku totongi hangatonu pe ‘e he pisini ‘a e totongi fakata’u ki he tokotaha ‘oku ‘a’ana ‘a e kelekele.