The Government of Tonga this year will start repaying the Chinese loan of more than US$100 million that was taken for recovery and reconstruction after the Nuku’alofa riots in November 2006.
Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva in a press conference on July 11 said the repayment was deferred to this year, after they asked over the past years, Matangi Tonga reports.
He said government would start repaying the principal loan starting in this year’s budget.
“In the meantime, government has paid around $16 million in interest. Our journey now into future is that we would keep on asking China to divert this loan into a grant,” he said.
Government took out the US$119 million loan from China for the reconstruction of Nuku’alofa after riots and arson attacks destroyed much of the Central Business District.