As Pacific Vuvale, Fiji and Australia are working closely to advance opportunities for sustainable economic development.

Australia’s strong support was articulated today at a courtesy call paid to the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Dr Lesikimacuata Korovavala from the Chargé d’affaires of the Australian High Commission (AHC) Stuart Watts.

The meeting briefly outlined current areas of cooperation and prospects to upgrade partnerships in areas such as labour mobility, economy, trade and investment, tourism, defence and security, climate change and oceans.

Dr Korovavala conveyed his appreciation to the Australian Government for their tremendous support and contributions to Fiji’s development aspirations to date and flagged potential areas for further collaboration.

He reaffirmed Fiji’s continued commitment to current arrangements and also acknowledged the strong people to people links, generated through the significant Australian visitors to our shores annually and our large Fijian diaspora who have called Australia home.

The meeting looked at regional cooperation and solidarity in the build up to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Meeting to be held in Cook Islands in November 2023, the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) which will be the first review of the Vuvale Partnership Agreement, capability building and the preparatory work towards COP 28.

Watts congratulated Dr Korovavala in the assumption of his new role and reasserted Australia’s commitment to increase support for Fiji.

“It was a pleasure to meet the new Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Dr Lesikimacuata Korovavala.

“We discussed opportunities to expand and strengthen the Australia and Fiji Vuvale Partnership.

“With shared values for a resilient and secure region, Australia looks forward to working with the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards achieving our shared goals,” Watts said.

Fiji and Australia’s cooperation levels have increased following the visit by the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Fiji in March 2023.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka is expected to visit Australia later this year as the Guest of the Australian Government with an invitation extended by Prime Minister Albanese.