27 June 2012

Pacific expert discusses the 'new players' in the Pacific Region

Cover Report: The New Players in the Region
Pacific diplomacy boosts links with new friends

Nic Maclellan 

Islands Business

Pacific nations are largely reliant on aid, trade and investment from traditional partners like Australia, New Zealand, United States, France and Japan. But in recent years, there has been increasing interest in finding new sources of development assistance, economic and political support. 

Pacific governments have been diversifying their political and economic links beyond the old regional groupings—led by France, United States and Australia/New Zealand—that dominated islands politics throughout the Cold War years. 
In the mid-1980s, PNG’s then Prime Minister Paias Wingti talked of a ‘Look North’ policy for his country, to extend relations beyond the old colonial ties with Australia. 

Today, Pacific Islands Forum countries are looking north-west, north-east and to other points of the compass. There is a growing interest in South–South cooperation and new countries are seeking the status of Post-Forum dialogue partner with the Pacific Islands Forum.

Read the full article in Islands Business.

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