Tonga’s Innovative Online Business Registry Goes Live
The Government of the Kingdom of Tonga launched the region’s first integrated online business registry today, providing up-to-date information on Tongan companies and businesses to the public 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week.
The site was launched by Mrs. Vaimoana Fakatulolo, CEO of Tonga’s Ministry of Commerce, Tourism & Labour, at a ceremony attended by representatives of the private sector and supporting development partners including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Australia and New Zealand.
The new website, now live at www.businessregistries.gov.to, allows users to file and access company records, business names and business licenses all from the one integrated resource, from wherever there is internet access.
“Tonga is the first Pacific Island country to provide an electronic database for all its business entities,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney. “With this innovative registry Tongans can now file their documents and search the registry online. Tonga now leads the Pacific in the provision of company and business records and information.”
This ease of access helps to ensure a more efficient, transparent and convenient service to customers. To ensure continued universal access, the ministry has confirmed that paper filings will continue to be accepted as in the past.
The launch follows PSDI’s assistance in reforming and modernizing Tonga’s business laws, which paved the way for the online registries. PSDI has also supported Tonga on secured transactions reform, with enabling legislation passed in September 2010, and the establishment in April 2011 of Tonga’s online Personal Property Securities Registry at https://ppsa.to.
Tonga’s registries are the most recent example of the wider regional effort by PSDI to assist Pacific countries to introduce company laws more suited to small island economies.