I will travel to Samoa this weekend to attend the Third UN Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference – a once in a decade event.

It is an important forum that promotes sustainable development in partnerships with governments, the private sector and community leaders.

Australia is committed to working with SIDS on shared priorities of economic growth, women’s economic empowerment, oceans and fisheries, disaster risk reduction and healthy populations.

Fostering private sector-led development and innovation is a key component of our engagement in the Pacific, and of the Government’s economic diplomacy agenda.  I will speak at the Private Sector Partnerships Forum that precedes the conference.

I will also launch a partnership between the Australian Government, Carnival Australia and the International Finance Corporation to assess the economic impact of cruise tourism in Vanuatu. In 2013, the cruise industry contributed more than $53 million to Vanuatu’s economy and generated more than 3,000 employment opportunities. As a result, we will announce a specialised training program for Vanuatu citizens to help them benefit from the job opportunities in the cruise industry.

Australia will also contribute an additional $20 million to the World Bank’s Pacific Facility Trust Fund, bringing our total contribution to more than $70 million. This Facility is lifting the living standards of the Pacific’s most vulnerable people by improving infrastructure, health and education outcomes. It will create jobs, and encourage private sector investment.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Brett Mason, will launch Australia’s key SIDS event: Ocean Journey – from Data to Action, focusing on the importance of oceans and marine resources to drive economic growth, and participate in other key conference events.

Australia supported the Government of Samoa’s hosting of the UN SIDS Conference, including through the Samoa‑Australia Police Partnership and funding for the Private Sector Partnerships Forum.

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