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Westpac hosts Foreign Affairs Minister Private Sector Dialogue

 

31 August 2015

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop, today visited Westpac’s Kent Street Sydney office to launch the government’s new statement on the private sector’s role in aid and development ‘Creating Shared Value through Partnership’.

More than 160 corporate leaders, Westpac Institutional customers, social enterprise, NGOs and academics gathered for a dialogue on accelerating the impact of international aid and development through the private sector.

The Statement acknowledges that the private sector has the means and increasingly the motivation to contribute to development outcomes as part of their core business,” said Minister Bishop. “It invites the private sector to collaborate with the aid program on implementing sustainable solutions that tackle development challenges whilst delivering commercial returns.”

Westpac hosted the event as a result of its Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which guides how the two organisations work together in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Together, they are increasing access to banking services for the millions of ‘unbanked’ people living in Fiji and PNG and improving opportunities for women.

“I am very excited to see a future where the capital, expertise and know-how of corporates, NGOs and governments is harnessed to support the developing world,” said Westpac Pacific General Manager Greg Pawson. “Together we can do great things. This new statement explicitly commits the government and private sector to working together to find solutions for the world's greatest challenges, and it lays out the many benefits for businesses pursuing social impact agendas.”

Westpac has a long and proud history in the Pacific, having been the first bank in Papua New Guinea and the longest serving bank in Fiji. Westpac is also a founding signatory to the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest sustainability initiative with over 12,000 signatories globally, and also a founding member of the Global Compact Network in Australia.

About Westpac in the Pacific

Westpac provides a comprehensive suite of financial products and services in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu through its network of branches, ATMs, merchants and in-store banking facilities to meet the banking needs of a range of consumer, government, corporate and institutional customers.