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Australia announces new postal deal

The efficiency and security of postal services between Australia and Pacific island countries is set to improve after the Australian Government and Australia Post announced a new Pacific Postal Development Partnership to strengthen postal services in the Pacific.

They have also signed a joint declaration with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and Asian Pacific Postal Union (APPU).

This is set to benefit consumers and businesses, including the estimated 200,000 people living in Australia with Pacific Island heritage.

To support the three-year partnership, the Australian Government has provided Australia Post with a AU$450,000 contribution to target improvements to postal systems, processes, technology and training in the region.

This funding will be supplemented by Australia Post’s expertise and in-kind support, including equipment that can help meet the needs of Pacific postal operators.

Australia’s Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland said postal services played a fundamental role in connecting people and businesses within countries and across borders for centuries, helping to build cultural and economic links, and keeping people informed and families connected. Picture: Michelle Rowland MP

The signing of this landmark joint declaration brings Australia closer together with key multilateral institutions in the postal sector and aligns respective efforts.

The declaration will enable a coordinated approach to regional postal development, supporting Pacific island countries to continue to modernise their postal services, capture emerging opportunities and new markets, and showcasing the value of the region’s postal sector globally.

Postal services continue to play a key role in the Pacific and employ a large number of people.

Postal services in the Pacific are some of the most under-developed as measured by the UPU’s Postal Development Index. This impacts businesses and consumers through slower average delivery times, disruption and delays.

With the ongoing digitisation of the global economy, further investments will boost the ability of Pacific island countries to capture new market opportunities and meet consumer expectations to deliver secure, timely and efficient postal services.

The Australian Government and Australia Post will work with Pacific postal operators and governments to identify specific activities to be delivered to meet their individual needs. The first activities are expected to commence by the end of 2022.

This partnership builds on Australia Post’s annual contribution of over AU$1.3 million to the Universal Postal Union to support global postal cooperation, and additional contributions such as a four-year commitment to further the global postal sector’s response to climate change.

Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy said Australia was pleased to be working in partnership with the Pacific family to make the region better connected. Picture: Pat Conroy MP

Australia’s Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland said postal services played a fundamental role in connecting people and businesses within countries and across borders for centuries, helping to build cultural and economic links, and keeping people informed and families connected.

“The Australian Government’s contribution will support the Pacific engaging with the world and taking advantage of new economic opportunities and people-to-people links, as well as improve postal services for Australians engaging with the Pacific,” she said.

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Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy said Australia was pleased to be working in partnership with the Pacific family to make the region better connected.

“Postal services across the Pacific have an important role to play as our region recovers from the economic impacts of COVID-19,” he said.

“Australia is committed to multilateral cooperation to uphold the international rules based order and address global challenges and the postal sector is no exception. This new Pacific partnership underscores our commitment.”

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