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PM’S Australian Visit: Relations Stronger As Leaders Sign Vuvale Partnership

The Australian visit has been a success for a number of reasons. Top among them is the strengthening of relations between the two countries. The smile on the faces of the two leaders yesterday said it all.
17 Sep 2019 11:01
PM’S Australian Visit: Relations Stronger As Leaders Sign Vuvale Partnership
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison congratulate each other after signing the Vuvale Partnership agreement in Canberra on September 16, 2019. Photo: PM’s Office

Relations between Fiji and Australia went up another notch yesterday.

This after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison signed the Vuvale Partnership agreement in Canberra.

It’s a binding document that symbolizes that they are family in the real context of the word, vuvale.

This is a significant achievement particularly coming in the wake of the differences over climate change during the Tuvalu Pacific Islands Forum meeting.

Those differences are now water under the bridge. But it is a good position to be in as they farewell each other today knowing that the relations between the two countries are intact despite the differences over climate change and the contentious Pacer Plus trade negotiations.

Mr Bainimarama returns home then prepares to leave again for the climate change summit in New York. After that he will visit Cuba where a number of our students are studying medicine. In the midst of all this he has to deal with the political storm brewing over the incident with Pio Tikoduadua.

The Australian visit has been a success for a number of reasons. Top among them is the strengthening of relations between the two countries. The smile on the faces of the two leaders yesterday said it all.

For Mr Morrison, it’s a good platform to be on as he leaves soon for the United States to be a guest of President Donald Trump at the White House.

The Vuvale Partnership establishes a relationship based on trust and mutual respect. It will encourage a direct line of communication between Suva and Canberra.

This could lead to easing visa applications to drive the Pacific labour scheme which would benefit Fijian workers in Australia.

Mr Bainimarama has already revealed about asking the Australians to lift the limit of how much yaqona a person can to Australia from 2kg to 5kg.

Initiatives covered by this agreement are likely to include boosting education and the economy. Both countries realize that to lift the standard of living of their people they must modernise. They can only do it with an educated population and a strong economy.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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