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Australia UK wants to go global post-Brexit: Bishop

04:30  22 april  2018
04:30  22 april  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Finance Minister Julie Bishop.© AAP Image Finance Minister Julie Bishop. Finance Minister Julie Bishop says Australia has encouraged Britain to have a greater presence in the Pacific region post-Brexit but won't say whether this is to counter the influence of China.

Ms Bishop, who has been attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the UK with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, says Britain wants to be more global once it has separated from the European Union.

"We have been encouraging Great Britain post-Brexit to have a greater presence in our part of the world," Ms Bishop told Sky News on Sunday.

She said there were estimates that trillions and trillions of dollars needed to be spent on infrastructure in the Pacific region by 2030 just to maintain current economic growth.

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UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson recently announced three new diplomatic posts in the Pacific region to help trade and "counter malign influences" of countries that sought to undermine Britain and its allies.

Ms Bishop welcomed the announcement but wouldn't say whether Mr Johnson was referring to China.

"You would have to ask the British government," she said.

"We have been encouraging Great Britain post-Brexit to look again at the Pacific as somewhere they could invest."

She also said in the recent past, most of Britain's aid was delivered by the European Union.

"Once Britain has exited the European Union we want to ensure that Britain's aid budget is also invested in our part of the world."

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