Australia and New Zealand must be part of the Pacific story and a starting point for that must be visa free access to Pacific Island countries to these two countries.
These were the sentiments expressed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Biman Prasad who says that the time to do this is ‘now’.
He made this statement while delivering his keynote address at the 11th Pacific Update Conference at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Laucala campus today.
“A unified Pacific wide single market must include Australia and New Zealand. Fijian and Pacific businesses must be able to grow in the Australia and the New Zealand markets,” DPM Prasad said.
“Similarly, Australian and New Zealand businesses should be able to expand across the Pacific. Out of this, we will create large businesses who will be able to stand their ground better in a new geo-economic universe.
“It simply cannot continue to be the case that it is easier for Lithuanians to travel in and out of Australia than it is for Fijians. It simply cannot continue to be the case that Latvians have easier travel access into New Zealand than do Solomon Islanders.”
The Pacific Update is the premier forum for discussion of economic, social, political, and environmental issues in the region which is co-hosted by the Development Policy Centre of the Australian National University and the USP.
SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS