Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has announced the renewal of the Vuvale Partnership between Fiji and Australia, which aims to facilitate seamless two-way travel through the Pacific Engagement Visa program.

He also emphasised the shared culture and kinship between Fiji’s First Nations peoples and their Pacific neighbours.

Key components of the partnership include the expansion of the labour mobility scheme through the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Visa.

This initiative, Rabuka said will boost labour exchange opportunities and is supported by the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP), which will continue funding quality, sustainable, and transformative infrastructure projects.

Under Pillar 2, Rabuka said the partnership will provide substantial support to the agriculture and fisheries sectors, enhancing food security and economic resilience.

He also notes that Pillar Three focuses on security cooperation, reaffirming joint commitments to defence, border security, policing, cybersecurity, maritime security, law and justice, and intelligence sharing.

“Vuvale, as we all know, means family in the Vosa Vakaviti, so the partnership recognises our respect for each other. Prime Minister Albanese and I signed that updated Vuvale partnership on the 20th of October last year.”

In his ministerial statement, Rabuka emphasised that strengthening people-to-people relations has driven efforts to deepen economic ties, aiming for greater prosperity for both nations.
This includes strengthening security operations to address climate challenges and maintain a peaceful, prosperous, and resilient region.

Rabuka states that the renewed Vuvale Partnership places a significant emphasis on international and regional cooperation, tackling evolving climate and geostrategic challenges, and promoting sustainable human development.

Key areas of focus include healthcare, education, gender equality, social inclusion, and poverty reduction.

Rabuka said that the partnership highlights an increased focus on human development, particularly for First Nations peoples, cultural exchange, skills development, and cybersecurity.

This approach aims, he said to enhance the bilateral relationship, ensuring that Fiji and Australia can thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has acknowledged the FijiFirst government’s contribution to the Vuvale Partnership that Fiji has with Australia.

In Parliament today, Rabuka commended the vision of the FijiFirst government to sign the agreement with Australia in 2017 which has resulted in a number of successful projects.

Rabuka highlighted the latest programme under the partnership signed in Lautoka recently in which a few projects focusing on maritime infrastructure will be improved.