The South Pacific is becoming a more strategically crowded and contested space. But, despite the strong aid and defence relations Australia maintains with the island states, there’s been little attention given to date to the role of Australia’s private sector in the Pacific islands region.
That’s in many ways surprising. Elements of Australian business have had longstanding connections in the Pacific, and the spread of business across borders is now a powerful international and regional political and economic force.
Such business networks knit communities together.
Given the crowded and complex South Pacific, there’s now a critical need for the Australian Government and business to get their collective act together in stepping up engagement in the region.