flag Tonga Tonga: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Tonga is a country open to foreign trade, which represented 73% of the country's GDP in 2021 (World Bank, 2023). The country is a member of the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA), the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (SPARTECA), and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Agricultural and food products, including fish, make up more than two-thirds of total exports. The main imports are Refined Petroleum (11.4% of all imports in 2021), poultry meat (4.53%), cars (2.89%), sheep and goat meat (2.56%) and saw wood (2.35%). Customs duties remain relatively low (the average applied tariff rate is 5.5%), and there are no major trade barriers. The major export partners of Tonga are United States (22% of all exports in 2021), South Africa (17.8%), New Zealand (15.3%), Australia (13.2%) and South Korea with 10.6% (OEC, 2023). The country main suppliers are New Zealand (35.8% of all imports), China (20.2%), Fidji (17.7%) and Australia with 6.1% (OEC, 2023).

The archipelago imports much more than it exports. As a result, it suffers from chronic trade deficit, which should continue in the coming years despite substantial international aid. In 2021, Tonga exported 16 million USD and imported 276 million USD in goods (WTO and World Bank, 2023), resulting in a deficit of 198 million USD. According to figures from the World Bank, Tonga’s overall trade deficit stood at 25.6% of the country’s GDP in 2020.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 238230238229276
Exports of Goods (million USD) 1913201516
Imports of Services (million USD) 9099998972
Exports of Services (million USD) 7787947143
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 3-15-4-13
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -61-3-6-49
Trade Balance (million USD) -185-203-206-191-198
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 8888878673
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 6666656561
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 2221222113

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs duties

 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Useful Resources
Tonga Revenue Services
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The Registry and Intellectual Property Office (RIPO), Ministry of Labor, Commerce and Industry.
 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2023

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