FIJI AND AUSTRALIA STRENGTHEN ENGAGEMENTS IN THE BORDER SECURITY SYSTEM

Fiji’s efforts to enhance the immigration and border security systems have been recognised as progressive steps which would strengthen the existing areas of collaboration between the Fijian Immigration Department and Australian Border Force.

This was conveyed during a virtual meeting between two senior officials held today. Discussions at this virtual meeting was led by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Immigration and Sugar Industry and Acting Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yogesh Karan and the Department of Home Affairs Regional Director for the Pacific, Commander James Watson.

The Australian delegation also included members of the Australian High Commission based in Suva.

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PS Karan provided an overview of the strategic plans of the Fijian Immigration Department with key priorities being the Border Management System, Digitisation of Records, Advancement of Technology and Smart Gates along with Review of Internal Processes.

PS Karan thanked the Australian Government for its remarkable assistance to Fiji particularly with border security being an important area of cooperation between the two nations.

He stated that the Fiji Immigration Department looks forward to strengthening partnership with Australia through programs like the Border Security Assistance Package (BSAP), which is an Australian Government initiative under the Australia and Fiji Vuvale Partnership.

PS Karan conveyed the Fijian Government’s appreciation to Commander Watson and his team for their timely support and swift response to Fiji.

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Through this partnership, Fiji will seek Australia’s assistance in the provision of capacity building, technology advancement, border security capability and secondment of Australian officers to border security agencies in Fiji and vice versa.

Commander Watson reaffirmed Australia’s support to Fiji and he commended PS Karan for his leadership in driving the innovative plans to enhance Fiji’s border and immigration services.

He said the meeting with PS Karan and his team has helped with the identification of priorities and scoping of projects that will be collaboratively pursued with the Fijian Immigration Department.