Australia looking to “strengthen postal services across the Pacific”

Australia looking to “strengthen postal services across the Pacific”

The Australian Government and Australia Post have signed a joint declaration with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and Asian-Pacific Postal Union (APPU) to create a new Pacific Postal Development Partnership which they say will “strengthen postal services in the Pacific”.

Announced in Bangkok today (30 August) on the sidelines of the 13th APPU Congress, the partnership will aim to improve the efficiency and security of postal services between Australia and Pacific island countries.

To support the three-year partnership, the Australia Government has provided Australia Post with a $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.

In a statement issued on its website, Australia Post said that 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 showcase the value of the region’s postal sector globally”.

Postal services in the Pacific are currently 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.

But the new agreement will aim to help Pacific island countries capitalise on the ongoing digitisation of the global economy, and “capture new market opportunities and meet consumer expectations to deliver secure, timely and efficient postal services”.

The Australian Government and Australia Post said they 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.

Australia Post added that the new partnership builds on its annual contribution of over $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.

Commenting on the new agreement, Australia’s Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, 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.”

Paul Graham, the Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Australia Post, added: “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 to 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 eCommerce, which will benefit the entire region.”

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