The new Fiji-Australia Vuvale Partnership signed by Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama and Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison in Canberra will see enhanced cooperation in multiple areas of mutual interest between the two countries.
The partnership will see both countries promoting greater people to people linkages through facilitating easier travel between Fiji and Australia.
The agreement states that Australia is extending streamlined processing for Fijian political, business and sporting leaders under the Pacific Australia Card.
The countries have also committed to renegotiating the Air Services Agreement to provide further opportunities for Fijian and Australian travellers and to examine further opportunities to enhance cooperation in the tourism sector.
Australia and Fiji have also stated that they will explore opportunities to develop pathways for Fijian teams to play in Australian competitions, support Australian teams to increase their presence in Fiji, and create pathways for emerging Fijian athletes to benefit from Australia’s high performance coaching and training. The Vuvale Partnership also states that the two countries will explore opportunities for technical assistance including secondment and work together to examine further support pathways for elite sportspeople, teams and sports professionals to further build these links.
Bainimarama and Morrison confirm that Fiji and Australia share a strategic interest in ensuring the Pacific is a peaceful, stable and secure region. They reaffirmed their commitment to closer defence, border security, policing, law and justice, intelligence and security cooperation. Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program with Fiji will also continue on training in maritime security and peacekeeping.
Fiji and Australia have also announced their decision to enter a peacekeeping partnership. This means the countries will support joint Australian Defence Force - Republic of Fiji Military Forces deployments on peacekeeping missions, further joint training activities and intelligence cooperation during deployments.
Bainimarama and Morrison have also agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation efforts to address transnational crime, including drug smuggling, money laundering, cybercrime, human trafficking and terrorism.
Australia and Fiji also affirm their intent to increase cyber security cooperation to maximise protections and opportunities for the Pacific in the digital age.
Australia also states that it recognises the valued contribution of Fijian workers in meeting Australian labour demand through the Seasonal Worker Programme.
Australia also says that it recognises Fiji’s global climate change leadership since it’s Presidency of COP23. Both countries pledged to continue working together in line with their respective commitments under the Paris Agreement.