17 Feb 2019

Strengthening trade and seasonal work a key for Vanuatu in Australia

8:00 pm on 17 February 2019

Vanuatu's Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu has been in Australia this week to strengthen trade and seasonal work arangements.

He met with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne and the Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific Anne Ruston.

Discussions focused on improving economic relations, including the kava trade.

This led to an agreement for an outreach programme by Vanuatu leaders to indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, where Kava abuse is reportedly a problem.

Mr Regenvanu also visited farms in North Sydney, where he was briefed on the experiences and working environment of ni-Vanuatu under the Seasonal Workers Programme.

He said Vanuatu continues to emphasise incremental increases of ni-Vanuatu to the programme and the Pacific Labour Scheme, which is trialing three year visas for workers in Australia's horticulture sector.

Ralph Regenvanu

Ralph Regenvanu Photo: WikiCommons / Marke Lowen