15 Mar 2006

Australia appoints Pacific Investment Commission

8:23 pm on 15 March 2006

The Australian Trade Commission and the government's international aid agency, AusAid, have appointed a Sydney-based Pacific Investment Commission.

The Commission will support Australian companies identify opportunities for joint ventures and commercial partnerships in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, the Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru and New Caledonia.

The Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, says the Australian investment will stimulate economic growth and employment in the Pacific.

Mr Downer says aid alone cannot solve the issues in Pacific countries and that this initiative will help generate growth and greater self-reliance in the Pacific.

The new position has been created to complement Australia's Pacific Regional Aid Strategy and will be initially funded for two years.