PORTS Australia has announced ports in New Zealand and the South Pacific have joined it as associate members.

The signing of Fiji Ports Corporation, Samoa Ports Authority, Cook Islands Ports Authority, Lyttleton Port Company and the Port of Napier has been described as “a massive step forward” in connecting the ports and maritime sector across the region.

“At Ports Australia, we understand the importance of regional cooperation, sharing knowledge and building relationships with our regional partners in the South Pacific, New Zealand and Oceania,” chief executive Mike Gallacher said.

ADVERTISEMENT  

“Today I’m announcing that the Fijian Port Corporation, together with the port authorities of Samoa and the Cook Islands, together with the New Zealand ports of Lyttelton and Napier, have joined Ports Australia as associate members.

“Together, we will cooperate to build trade, to build understanding and to build that shared knowledge for the ports and maritime sector that confront the region and to ensure the world hears the voice of Oceania.” Some media reports have suggested the closer ties is part of an effort to counter increasing influence by China in the region.

ADVERTISEMENT