Australia’s Concetta Fierravanti-Wells on infrastructure investment

One Australian minister can be raising concerns about the sustainability of infrastructure developments from the Pacific.

Speaking with CNBC’s Oriel Morrison, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Australia’s minister for international development along with the Pacific, stressed the importance for infrastructure investments to “have a productive outcome” without imposing “unnecessary debt burdens.”

Asked if Australia had aired its concerns to China, the major supplier of loans from the region over the past few years, she said her country works with Beijing in “various overseas development projects,” pointing to a tri-lateral program on malaria in Papua fresh Guinea. Fierravanti-Wells has previously accused Beijing of funding “roads to nowhere.”

“the idea’s definitely important to take into account the vulnerability of Pacific island countries,” said Fierravanti-Wells.

While the involvement of partners along with donors to the region was welcome, she said, those investments need to examine the priorities of the Pacific along with vulnerabilities of particular countries.

through Australia’s perspective, Fierravanti-Wells said, the idea has committed “almost $4 billion” for overseas development assistance efforts from the form of grants of which are focused on the Pacific in a “transparent, open manner.”

“The issue, as I said, does come down to a general understanding along with appreciation, in particularly the Pacific, a region of which incorporates a lot of vulnerabilities,” she added, noting of which modest island states from the region are often located in remote locations with limited sources of revenue.

In reality, Fierravanti-Wells said, “the idea’s one thing if the idea’s development assistance from the form of a grant as opposed to a loan because of course loans carry with them terms, they carry with them conditions.”

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