Tonga business opportunities exist in a variety of sectors. Making up roughly two-thirds of exports, agriculture, fishing and food processing are some of the first ideas to comes to mind. Major cash crops include coconuts, vanilla, bananas, coffee, squash, as well as root crops – yams, taro and cassava. Fisheries, on the other hand, rest hopes on tests showing that a sufficient number of skipjack tuna pass through Tongan waters to support growth in the fishing industry. With roughly a third of the kingdom covered in forest, sustainable logging is another industry with a potential for development. Tourism is yet another. Although cruise ships already visit the Vavaʻu Islands, the tourist industry is still relatively undeveloped. Tonga’s beaches, sports fishing, surfing and whale watching have the potential to earn the nation a major stake in the South Pacific tourism market. Finally, with growth in the aforementioned sectors, plus continued remittances from the half of Tongan nationals who live and work abroad (chiefly in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States), the kingdom should see more and more development in the areas of construction, communications, transportation and supporting service industries. In short, while limited in size, Tonga still offers a fairly wide range of opportunities for the entrepreneur.
Other important facts about the Tongan economy: A significant part of the economy is still based on non-monetary, subsistence agriculture. Apart from tourism and exports, Tonga is still very much dependent on foreign aid and personal remittances for sources of hard currency. The royal family and nobles dominate certain sectors of the economy, including telecommunications. Tonga is a net food importer (mainly from New Zealand) despite its agricultural output.