JULIE BISHOP Senator Penny Wong the Opposition Foreign Minister, with Senator Fierravanti‐Wells the Minister for International Development in the Pacific, and her counterpart Senator Claire Moore the Opposition Minister for International Development in the Pacific.
Having four members of this delegation, two from the Government and two from the Opposition, underscores the bipartisan commitment to the Australia‐Samoa relationship. Australia has no closer friend in the Pacific than Samoa, and we're delighted to be here and to take the opportunity to pass on a message from Prime Minister Turnbull: congratulations to you, Prime Minister, for your resounding win in the last election and the fact that you are now entering your 19th year as Prime Minister.
You bring a level of stability, not only to Samoa, but also to our region. And Samoa has been showcased on the world stage in recent times, not only through hosting the Small Island Developing States Conference in 2014, but also you will be hosting the board meeting of the Green Climate Fund next week in Apia, and hosting the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum in 2017. And also the TV program, Australian Survivor, did also draw attention to the beauties and wonder of this marvellous nation.
We are signing the Australia‐Samoa Aid Partnership Agreement today, which will focus, as the Prime Minister said, on economic development, governance, health and education. And we are committed to ensuring that Samoa is able to grow its economy and provide more job opportunities, particularly for its young people. And we are investing in programs that will drive private sector growth because we need to see more of the private sector establishing businesses here to provide opportunities for the people of Samoa.
Prime Minister, thank you very much for your very warm welcome, and we look forward to a very busy schedule this afternoon, including a visit to Leone Bridge – funded by the Australian Government – and the announcement of five Bailey bridges, which I am sure you will put to good use during emergency situations and other extreme weather events when access and communication is so vital.
So we are very pleased to be here and look forward to our continuing deep cooperation and collaboration, not only on a bi‐lateral basis, but regionally. Thank you.
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