The review of the Vuvale Partnership will realign Fiji and Australia’s cooperation in the areas of economy, infrastructure, health and education, trade and tourism, aviation, defence and security, labour mobility, capacity building and skills development, and regional solidarity.
Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Dr Lesikimacuata Korovavala highlighted this at the conclusion of the two days Senior Officials Meeting on the review of the Vuvale Partnership.
Permanent Secretaries and senior officials from the both sides discussed the way forward to realign the approach, contents and desired outcomes of Fiji and Australia relations with the vision, goals and priorities of the new governments of both nations.
Dr Korovavala thanked the Australian Government for their openness and commitment to further strengthen cooperation through this review and said the two-day discussions considered the key priorities from the standpoint of the new Governments.
“It demonstrated our collective commitment to achieve inclusive, resilient and sustainable development in the face of common challenges such as climate change, pandemic and rising costs of doing business.”
A joint statement on the new partnership agreement is currently developed in line with the discussions held this week.
Once finalised the Statement is anticipated to be formally signed next month during the Guest of Government visit to Australia.
Reflecting on the discussions this week, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Ewen McDonald, said the seniority of the Fijian and Australian representatives who joined the discussions demonstrates the importance of Vuvale Partnership to both the nations and the key role the partnership plays in guiding and achieving the joint priorities.
“The Senior Officials Meeting highlighted ways to elevate our relationship to take up the opportunities, and tackle the challenges, we face bilaterally, regionally and globally.”
“Our relationship with Fiji is one of equals based on trust, respect and understanding.”
“The review of our Vuvale Partnership is timely to maximise the benefits of this important, strong and growing relationship as we go forward together”, High Commissioner McDonald said.