Visa free travel between Pacific Islands and AUS/NZ ‘a must’ says deputy PM Fiji

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The deputy Prime Minister in Fiji has said that visa-free travel between Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific Island States is a ‘must’. 

Professor Biman Prasad, who is also the Minister for Finance and Strategic Planning said, “The time for that has now arrived,” in a keynote address during the 2023 Pacific Update Conference. 

“It simply cannot continue to be the case that it is easier for Lithuanians to travel in and out of Australia than it is for Fijians.” 

“It simply cannot be the case that Latvians have easier travel access into New Zealand than Solomon Islanders.” 

“The Blue Pacific must reach out into the world with a determination that is grounded in our history, that is knitted into our cultural fabric, and that reflects our identity,” 

Prasad said for Fijian and Pacific businesses to be able to grow and expand into Australian and New Zealand markets the change needs to occur now. 

“So as we seek to change the nature of our engagement with the world, we want the world to understand that we are not a powerless small states.: 

“We want the world to know that we are large ocean states. We are states that collective with a large stake in humanity’s future,” Prasad, said. 

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