BLUF

Australia, India, Japan and the US need to work together to maximise development for Pacific Island Nations for mutual strategic and economic benefit.

Summary

The Pacific Step-up is one of Australia's high priority foreign policy programmes, yet it is not often considered in a  Quad context. The Blue Dot Network—which focuses on infrastructure—consists of Australia, Japan and the USA and might provide an alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative. Some areas of actual and potential cooperation are:
 
  • US support of Australia's Pacific COVID-19 recovery fund.
  • Australia's Step- up renewable energy programme working with the US's AsiaEdge
  • The US's Infrastructure Transaction and Assistance Network are partnering with the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific.
  • Japan's Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure and Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision.
  • The Palau Undersea cable funding: US, Japan, Australia.
  • Supply Chain Resilience Initiative: Australia, Japan and India.
  • India's 'Act East Policy'.
  • India-Australia-France commenced talks focussed on development. 
The Quad has the potential to assist Pacific Island Nations—think about how Australia benefits from a peaceful and developed Pacific region.