PM Hou welcomes Australia’s new regional initiative
PRIME Minister Rick Houenipwela has welcomed the recent announcement from his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison for Australia to establish a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure facility for projects in the region.

This followed the new policy initiative for the Pacific Region announced by the Australian Prime Minister yesterday.

Australian Prime Minister Morrison announced that the Australian Government will establish the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific, a $2 billion infrastructure initiative to significantly boost Australia’s support for infrastructure development in Pacific countries and Timor-Leste.

At the same time, Australia will deliver an extra $1 billion in callable capital to Efic, Australia’s export financing agency.

This will complement a new, more flexible infrastructure financing power to support investments in the region that have a broad national benefit for Australia.

The new package includes security, economic, diplomatic and people to people initiatives which will build on strong partnerships in the Pacific.

Prime Minister Houenipwela said Australia’s new policy initiative will certainly deliver outcomes for a secure and thriving Pacific region.

He said this will also further enhance the outcomes of the Boe Declaration adopted by the Pacific Island Forum Leader’s in Nauru in September this year.

“Australia is a friend that has always been a big brother in our region. This new initiative will definitely build on the ever robust relationship we share with Australia. While the announcement has factored in many areas that we have been working on with Australia, this new infrastructure initiative is a facility that will specifically dedicated to infrastructure development. his is a very critical area for Solomon Islands,” he said.

The Prime Minister said one of the reasons why he was the first Pacific Island Leader to make a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Morrison after his elections in Canberra, was to acknowledge and assure of Australia’s unwavering support in the Solomon Islands and the region.

Prime Minister Houenipwela said he is also looking forward to personally meet and acknowledge his Australian counterpart again when they meet in Port Moresby at the APEC meeting next week.

ENDS/// Source: PM Secretariat Facebook

7 MOUs and Cooperation Agreements with China

The Vanuatu Government signed seven different Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and Cooperation Agreements with the Chinese Government in the lead-up to the APEC meeting in Papua New Guinea.

The signing took place in Port Vila on Friday, 9 November 2018 and was officially announced by the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, during his bilateral meeting with Vanuatu delegates at the margin of the APEC meeting in Port Moresby.

It covered four MOUs, two framework agreements and one protocol agreement. The MOUs include: MOU on cooperation within the framework of “One Belt One Road” initiative; MOU on Human Resource Development Cooperation; MOU on Promoting friendly exchange between Guangdong Province and Vanuatu; and MOU on establishing the Joint Economic and Trade Commission between Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu and Ministry of Commerce of China.

The two framework agreements include: Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation and the Framework Agreement on Concessional Loan.

The final MOU is the protocol on remitting partial debts of government of Vanuatu.

The two agreements that are yet to be sign include Fisheries Cooperation Agreement and Air Service Agreement between Vanuatu and China.

By signing up to the One Belt One Road Initiative framework with the Chinese Government Vanuatu reaffirms its commitment to work with the Chinese Government in the implementation of BRI as well as an undertaking to increase level of cooperation between the two countries on an on – going basis.

The Chinese Leader told Prime Minister Salwai that in addition to the framework agreement on cooperation signed between the two governments China will also expand cooperation into areas such as Tourism and Climate Change.

He confirmed that China will encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Vanuatu and will support regional efforts to address climate change impact, encourage green low carbon and sustainable development.

In his closing remarks, Prime Minister Salwai thanked the Chinese Government and acknowledged that this is indeed another milestone achievement in the history of the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Indeed this has forged a strong strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development and thus heralding a new dynamic stage in our relations, said PM Salwai.

Source: Vanuatu Daily Post