Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Pacific infrastructure projects that Australia will help back financially must stack up commercially amid concerns many small island nations are already burdened by debt.
Arriving in Port Moresby for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit, Mr Morrison played down the notion of a bidding war with China as they vie for regional influence.
Australia, either by itself or in partnership with Japan and US, has outlined a series of initiatives to help impoverished Pacific nations with infrastructure needs, countering China’s expansion into the region through its Belt and Road Initiative.
“This is why the projects effectively have to be bankable,” Mr Morrison said. “We follow that discipline when it comes to infrastructure projects and that’s why the sort of projects we’ve been getting involved in have revenue streams as well.”