Fiji and Australia to sign deal bolstering shipbuilding at ports

Fiji and Australia Strengthen Ties With New Ports Deal

The government of Fiji is on the verge of signing a significant ports deal with Australia. This landmark agreement is set to provide a substantial boost to the shipbuilding industry in both countries.

The Implications of the Deal

Under the conditions of the new agreement, Australia will be providing assistance to Fiji to develop its shipbuilding and maritime industries. This shows Australia’s willingness to expand its influence in the Pacific region.

In response to the increasing investment and aid from China in the Pacific region, Australia is ramping up its contributions as a regional leader, and the deal with Fiji is just one example of this.

Australia’s Pacific Step-Up Program

This deal is considered an essential part of Australia’s broader strategy in the Pacific called the Pacific Step-Up program, conceived in 2016 to counterbalance growing Chinese influence in the region.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne, has been instrumental in the development of these partnerships and has emphasized that this kind of cooperation is of critical importance to Australia’s foreign policy priorities.

Contributions and Counterefforts

As part of its commitment, Australia has significantly amped up its aid contributions to the Pacific, including a $1.3 billion package approved last year for the region. This funding is targeted at assisting with infrastructure output, naval bases, and the development of shipbuilding skills and technologies.

In turn, China has also increased its lending activities in the Pacific. This has caused some diplomatic creases, but also established a keen competition between Australia and China in the region.

Enhancing Diplomatic Relations

The soon-to-be-signed deal will not only enhance bilateral ties between Fiji and Australia, but it’s also expected to foster economic growth, increase employment opportunities, and help Fiji develop its shipbuilding sector.

The partnership is testimony to the strengthened diplomatic ties between Australia and Fiji, demonstrating the close collaboration and mutual benefits that the two countries envision to achieve from the deal. The agreement is anticipated to be confirmation of Australia’s commitment to the Pacific region and its ambitions to foster and maintain good diplomatic relationships with neighboring countries.


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