Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Pacific links: Tsai’s island travels, new in Niue, more

Indonesia’s interests in the neighbourhood, Vanuatu’s economy, and stories from the Pacific Islands region.

Presentations on Nauru (Photo: Taiwan Presidential Office/Flickr)
Presentations on Nauru (Photo: Taiwan Presidential Office/Flickr)

  • Australia’s parliament will vote next week on legislation to give the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) an extra $1 billion in capital to fund Australian businesses to engage in infrastructure projects in the Pacific.
  • Papua New Guinea has become the latest regional country to sign up to the Pacific Labour Scheme. A memorandum of understanding was signed on the sidelines of an event focused on Indo-Pacific Cooperation in Jakarta. Here is the media release.
  • Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, travelled to the South Pacific to shore up ties with three island nations that retain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, in an effort to counter China’s expanding influence in the region. Chris Horton reports for the New York Times, and the trip was also well documented by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter.
  • In this piece (following up on a Little Red Podcast episode) Graeme Smith interviews Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-general Dame Meg Taylor and Vanuatu’s foreign minister Ralph Regenvanu on the role of the Belt and Road Initiative in the Pacific.
  • The Asian Development Bank has opened a new office in Niue, the tiny Pacific island nation northeast of New Zealand.
  • Indonesia wants to increase its footprint in the Pacific. To do so, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi opened a series of activities of the Indonesia-South Pacific Forum (ISPF). Representatives from 15 countries in the South Pacific region participated in the forum themed “Our future, shared ocean, shared prosperity”.
  • The US Coast Guard, under the aegis of Pacific Partnership 2019, concluded a three-day search and rescue exercise with the Marshall Islands at the weekend in what is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Dan McGarry looks at the state of the Vanuatu economy, underlining the opportunities and threats the country faces.
  • Bhavya Gupta examines at the nature, role and importance of Indian aid in the Pacific Islands region.
  • Fiji has recently taken up the vice-presidency of the UN Human Rights Council, which underscores the need for human rights progress.


Pacific Research Program

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