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Australia’s support to strengthen Fiji's maritime sector

Australia’s support to strengthen Fiji's maritime sector

Earlier this month, the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, and Minister for Defence Industry, Hon. Pat Conroy MP alongside Fiji Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sitiveni Rabuka, signed two Memorandum of Understandings (Mou) on Port Infrastructure and Services.

The signing of the MoU is practical example of cooperation under Australia’s Vuvale Partnership with Fiji, and demonstrates its commitment to work with Fiji to strengthen the maritime sector. 

Under the Port Infrastructure and Services MoU, Fiji Ports Authority Corporation Limited (FPCL) and Australia also signed an agreement to support upgrades to Lautoka Port via the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific.

The Informing upgrades to Fiji’s Lautoka Wharf project supports FPCL with a feasibility study to develop the foreshore area within the Port of Lautoka. The study assessed various aspects of the wharf, including its infrastructure such as Kings Jetty, berths, sheds, warehouses, and cargo handling equipment.

Minister Conroy said that Australia will also support Fiji’s ambitions to revitalise its shipbuilding and ship repair sector to help facilitate safe, efficient, and reliable efficient maritime transportation in Fiji and across the region over the medium to long term.

“The MoU provides a framework for greater cooperation in Fiji’s maritime sector and demonstrates Australia’s commitment to work together on port infrastructure and services, including in shipbuilding and ship repair.

“We are also supporting Fiji to deliver on its critical infrastructure needs. The AIFFP is now the second largest infrastructure financer in the Pacific, and through the AIFFP, we are providing over FJD 200 million in loan, guarantee and grant financing to Fiji,” Minister Conroy added.

Fiji Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sitiveni Rabuka said that Australia's commitment to assisting in the upgrade of Fiji's ports aligns with the Ocean of Peace concept proposed as a visionary goal for the Pacific region.

He acknowledged AIFFP's support in revitalising Fiji's shipbuilding industry and transforming the nation into the Pacific's major port of entry and transshipment hub, leading to increased job opportunities, specialized skillsets, and economic stimulation.