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WTO Not Bringing Benefits Warn Tongans: Documentary

WTO Not Bringing Benefits Warn Tongans: Documentary

The reality of being members of the World Trade Organization is not as promising as Tongans were led to believe.

A new documentary released today titled “Fool me once: The regional lessons from the impacts of Tonga's WTO accession” is a look through the eyes of ordinary Tongans about what membership to the WTO has meant for them and their country.

“This documentary lets Tongans speak for themselves about their experiences under the WTO, how the decision to become a WTO member was made, what it has meant for their businesses, and what it has meant for their lives,” explains Adam Wolfenden, Campaigner for the Pacific Network on Globalisation.

Tonga is currently facing an economic crisis with high debt levels, unemployment and dropping levels of remittances. The Reserve Bank Governor has called on Tongan citizens to support the economy by buying locally made food and products.

Mr Wolfenden added that this documentary comes at a time when Tonga should be considering all possible options to turn around its economy to focus on the unique traditions and needs of Tongans. “Instead Tonga's WTO commitments undermine its policy and legislative space to put Tonga's needs first, in a time of crisis this should serve as a severe warning to other Pacific countries like Vanuatu.”

Fool me Once captures the impact of WTO conditions on Tongan businesses and concerns raised by civil society on the lack of consultation that led to the accession of Tonga to the WTO” concluded Mr Wolfenden.

It will screen this Friday on Komuniti Akses Media in Vanuatu, starting tonight at 5pm and screening every 4 hours for a week.


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