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Fiji and Australia’s new diplomacy, a family affair

January 18, 2019 11:01 am
[Source: Fijian Government]

Like family, the new diplomatic relationship between Fiji and Australia is now being dubbed a ‘Vuvale Partnership’.

With bilateral talks lasting more than an hour yesterday afternoon, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama noting the new era of Fiji and Australia’s broadening relationship.

“Prime Minister Morrison and I have dubbed the new Fiji Australia Vuvale partnership aiming to consolidate our two countries relations in order to leverage new opportunities and address common challenges.”

And it appears there has been significant headway in Fiji’s new relationship with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison elaborating on some of the funding support on offer.

In particular, the education sector will get a hefty boost.

“Now the Australia University of the South Pacific Partnership will be worth more than $84 million over the next six years and that is Australia’s investment ensuring the tertiary education system that is being provided here will be able to meet future needs.”

The assistance on offer by the Australian government cuts across trade, defense, labour mobility, education, culture and sport.

Fiji will get two patrol boats, while Australia will also begin work on Fiji’s entry into the Australian Pacific Labor Scheme.

Australia will also give around $17.1 million worth of free tv content for the next three years.

While no questions were entertained after the bilateral statements, Australian Think Tanks dubbed the historic visit a push to stem China’s growing influence in the region.

Nonetheless both the Prime Minister’s agreeing that the tide has turned and that the new diplomatic relationship is more frank.