Vision of the Port Infrastructure and Services MOU is for Fiji to become the major port of entry

Vision of the Port Infrastructure and Services MOU is for Fiji to become the major port of entry

By Mansi Chand
Tuesday 16/04/2024

The MOU between the Government of Australia and Port Infrastructure and Services implements the People’s Coalition Government’s commitment to the revival of the shipbuilding industry to support the vision for Fiji to become the hub of the Pacific as the major port of entry and provide services to the Pacific’s fishing fleets.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka highlighted this in parliament today when Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure asked him to update Parliament on the MOU.

The Prime Minister says the proposed MOU on Port Infrastructure and Services comes under the umbrella of the vuvale partnership which was a great initiative by the FijiFirst Government and they have decided to continue it, as they have signed the elevated part of it in October last year with Australian PM.

Rabuka says the Government of Australia and Port Infrastructure Services articulate the joint development priorities such as strengthening the people-to-people links, enhancing security cooperation, deepening economic relationships, regional and international cooperation and fostering closer institutional linkages of strong inclusive societies.

He says last year in December the joint team of the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Australian High Commission agreed on the range of development priorities to be considered under the vuvale partnership which includes support in the development of port facilities and service sector.

He says the development and management of key infrastructure, in particular the implications of climate activity, security and prosperity. Rabuka further says in March, the Cabinet agreed to the proposed MOU on port infrastructure.

The development of Fiji Ports will provide necessary help to strengthen local shipbuilding while the preparatory work on the Fiji Military continues and he is grateful to Australia for their support on this important infrastructure work.

FijiFirst MP Faiyaz Koya questioned if biosecurity is a component of this development as the problematic part of being a transhipment hub is always biosecurity.

Responding to this, Rabuka says they are very mindful of this as two weeks ago during the biosecurity workshop this was seriously discussed by the participants.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Inia Seruiratu hopes this can be expedited because, under the SVT Government, the shipping industry lost its stepping and asked when will this be restarted.

Rabuka says this will be quickly brought in.

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