The Australian government has provided Australia Post with an A$450,000 (US$312,000) contribution to target improvements to postal systems, processes, technology and training in the region.
The 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. To support the investment, the Australian Government and Australia Post have signed a joint declaration with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and Asian-Pacific Postal Union (APPU). Announced in Bangkok on the sidelines of the 13th APPU Congress, the three-year partnership is intended to improve the efficiency and security of postal services between Australia and Pacific Island countries. This partnership builds on Australia Post’s annual contribution of over A$1.3m (US$903,000) to the UPU 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.
The declaration is intended to enable a coordinated approach to regional postal development, supporting Pacific Island countries to continue to modernize their postal services, capture emerging opportunities and new markets and showcase the value of the region’s postal sector. The UPU’s Integrated Index for Postal Development measured the postal services in the Pacific as some of the most underdeveloped in the world in terms of average delivery times, disruption and delays. The declaration will be signed by Australia’s ambassador to Thailand, Dr Angela Macdonald PSM, Australia Post’s general manager for international services, Michael Cope, the Director General of the UPU, Masahiko Metoki, and the secretary general of the APPU, Lin Hongliang.
The Hon Michelle Rowland, the Australian minister for communications, said, “Postal services have 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 Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that this mission remains as relevant as ever.
“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. Aligning Australia’s contribution with the longstanding work of the Universal Postal Union and Asian-Pacific Postal Union will achieve a coordinated approach that best supports our Pacific partners.”
The Hon Pat Conroy, the Australian minister for international development and the Pacific, added, “Australia is pleased to be working in partnership with the Pacific family to make our 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. 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.”
Paul Graham, group CEO and managing director of Australia Post, said, “Australia Post is extremely proud to work with our postal partners across the Pacific to provide our deep expertise and help develop tailored solutions to enable the provision of mail and parcel services for all. As part of this, we will meet with them to tailor our assistance to their specific needs – whether that be sharing our knowledge and expertise or the supply of equipment and technology. Australia Post is particularly well placed to help these nations both respond to the challenges and take advantage of opportunities from the acceleration in e-commerce, which will benefit the entire region.”
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