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Australia Invests $ 1.6 Billion in South Pacific Telephone Company Transactions | WGN Radio 720

On Monday, October 25, 2021, a man sitting near a Telstra payphone in Sydney is using a mobile device. Australian telco Telstra has partnered with the Australian Government in a $ 1.6 billion deal to acquire Digicel’s South Pacific business. It will prevent an important part of the regional communications infrastructure from falling into the hands of China. (AP Photo / Rick Rycroft)

Canberra, Australia (AP) — Australian telco Telstra has partnered with the Australian Government in a $ 1.6 billion deal to prevent a significant portion of the region’s telecommunications infrastructure from falling into the hands of China, south of Digicel. Acquired the Pacific business.

Telstra, the country’s largest telephone company, said in a statement Monday that it would donate $ 270 million to the transaction and hold a 100% stake in Digicel Pacific.

According to Telstra CEO Andrew Penn, the terms of the sale have been agreed and will be completed within six months.

“Digicel Pacific is a commercially attractive asset and important for communications in the region,” Penn said.

Digicel is owned by Irish businessman Denis O’Brien, incorporated in Bermuda and headquartered in Jamaica. It operates in 33 markets around the world.

It is one of the leading mobile operators in Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, Tonga, Nauru, Samoa and Vanuatu. It is the second largest airline in Fiji after Vodafone.

In a statement, Trade and Investment Minister Dan Tehan said the partnership with Telstra, a former state-owned monopoly, “is in line with Australia’s long-standing commitment to increase quality investment in regional infrastructure.” Stated.

The agreement also reflects Australia’s commitment to support the development of safe and reliable infrastructure in the region, which is important for the region’s economic growth and development, Taehan said.

The United States and several other governments have sought to minimize the involvement of Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturers in telecommunications network upgrades because of security concerns. In addition, trade and other relations between Australia and China have been tense on various issues over the past few years.

Damian Kingsbury, an international political expert at Deakin University, said Australia sees the South Pacific as a “backyard” and does not want Chinese companies to own Digicel’s businesses in the region.

“There are very high levels of background concerns about China’s move in the Pacific and elsewhere,” Kingsbury said. “There is a desire to neutralize China’s move into the region.”

Australia Invests $ 1.6 Billion in South Pacific Telephone Company Transactions | WGN Radio 720

Source link Australia Invests $ 1.6 Billion in South Pacific Telephone Company Transactions | WGN Radio 720

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