Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia, Mr Luke Daunivalu, undertook an official visit to the State of Tasmania over a two-day period this week. With the official visit to this southernmost State undertaken after 10 years, it was evident that much commonality exists between the island States that would further spur the strong, positive momentum of Fiji-Australia bilateral relations.
The significance of this visit was underpinned by the new bilateral framework of cooperation signed by Honourable Prime Minister of Fiji Voreqe Bainimarama with Honourable Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, in September last year known as the Fiji-Australia Vuvale Partnership.
Tasmania, an island state located 240 km south of the Australian mainland, and Fiji share a strong focus on tourism and agriculture, offering skilled workers who deliver ICT services, specialising in business process outsourcing, both combating climate change and encouraging entrepreneurship.
Through discussions with key representatives in Tasmania, High Commissioner Daunivalu raised issues of mutual importance and explored opportunities for greater cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, tourism, ocean and climate change, as well as institutional strengthening.
The wide-ranging topics were discussed in meetings with the Governor and Premier of Tasmania, the Mayor of Hobart City Council, University of Tasmania, the Fijian diaspora community, amongst others.
Capitalising on the positive atmosphere of cooperation between the two countries, a business networking event was hosted in Hobart by the Fiji Trade Commission to Australia. It enabled High Commissioner Daunivalu to promote Fiji’s tourism, trade and investment opportunities for Fiji to local Tasmanian businesses and community.
He stated that “While Australia’s engagement with Fiji has largely been with businesses in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, we greatly value and welcome the contribution of our friends in Tasmania.”
During a brief visit to the Australian Maritime College based in Launceston, Mr Daunivalu held discussions with the Principal of the institution and also had an interaction with the Fijian students enrolled there.
Members of the Fijian community in Tasmania were grateful for the visit by the High Commissioner Daunivalu and his delegation as they were provided with consular services and support during the visit.