Australia needs a more flexible policy approach and a new strategic direction in its engagement with Pacific island countries, particularly Fiji, according to an international affairs expert, who explains that the change is necessary if Australia wants to adapt to the changing landscape in the region.
Following the 2006 coup, Fiji is increasingly looking beyond Australia and New Zealand for partnerships, Sandra Tarte, head of the politics and international affairs program at Fiji’s University of the South Pacific, notes on the “Development Policy” blog.
“Shifting international alignments and patterns of influence perhaps mean that the ‘old regional order’ – led by Australia and New Zealand – will no longer be tenable. There are new dynamics in train, which may mean more economic opportunities and more political options for some (though not all) Pacific island states,” Tarte says, adding that this is not necessarily a bad thing for Australia and the Pacific region.
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