DPM highlights concerns over geopolitical contestation

December 8, 2023 12:37 pm

Deputy Prime Minister Professor Biman Prasad [Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

Leaders across the Blue Pacific, including Fiji, have expressed worry over the growing geopolitical contestation in the region.

Deputy Prime Minister Professor Biman Prasad made the remark during his opening address to the Australasian Aid and International Development Conference in Canberra.

Professor Prasad says the geopolitical contestation is being played out across a range of areas, including the digital world, artificial intelligence, and, of course, traditional sectors of the economy.

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He adds that, as a response, Fiji has called for the Pacific to be an ocean of peace.

“It signals that we place the Pacific’s interests first and foremost. It conveys to the world that we recognize that regional stability is the bedrock of our development and of our progress.”

Professor Prasad says fragile Pacific states will be less likely to be able to mediate geopolitical competition in ways that protect their sovereign interests.

He has encouraged Australia to consider becoming part of a fully integrated Pacific where Australian businesses, workers, students, and families are able to freely move and work across the vast Blue Pacific, and vice versa for all Pacific islanders.