Australia’s Minister for the Pacific and International Development says the increase in aid to the Pacific announced in the budget is not in response to the growing influence of China.
Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells told Pacific Beat the funding boost for the Pacific in the new budget has been designed to help the economies of Pacific nations, avoid aid dependency and help boost their private sectors.
“We remain the largest development partner in the Pacific. The budget is going up to $1.3 billion dollars, which is a record amount,” Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said.
“The Pacific is now realising that it is very important that it looks to organise itself in such a way to have good debts sustainability, good budget management, and we are seeing some very good examples of that happening.”
“We have an important private sector component, we work with different partners, and indeed quite a number of things that we do are delivered by the private sector.”