Sun, Aug 08, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Pacific leaders leery of joining single market

DPA , SYDNEY

Earlier this year Australia doubled its annual aid budget for the region to A$383 million, of which A$102 million dollars was earmarked for Papua New Guinea, the region's biggest country.

During the past 30 years the region has received A$20 billion in Australian aid.

Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon, who is in Apia for the meeting, praised Canberra's "paradigm shift" on regional matters.

"Australia took a major sea-change in its foreign policy a year or so ago by its very high involvement in the Solomons," McKinnon said.

"These are five- to 10-year processes," he said.

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