MEDIA RELEASE

Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests (MAFF)

Nuku’alofa, Kingdom of Tonga

 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • BMRCL was approved a business license under the Foreign Investment Act in September 2017.
  • The partnership between MAFF and BMRCL was approved by Cabinet Decision 1198 on 3rd November 2017.
  • The partnership between MAFF and BMRCL was officially signed and became effective in February 2018.
  • 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”.
  • 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.

MEDIA RELEASE ENDS


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