SYDNEY, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Officials from six South Pacific nations, will gather at the Australian city of Cairns this week for the South Pacific Defence and Industry Forum, which would help to boost economy in Queensland, said Queensland Minister for State Development Cameron Dick.
Featuring the Cook Islands, the Republic of Palau, Tonga, Fiji, the Marshall Islands as well as Australia, the minister said the historic meeting will not only help Australia's tropical north increase its defence industry capabilities but also create more business opportunities and local jobs.
The officials will participate the meeting along with representatives from Timor-Leste, New Zealand, Britain and France.
"We want to maximise Queensland's geographically significant position in the Asia Pacific region," he said on Tuesday.
"Far North Queensland has all the elements to become the port of choice to deliver services across the South Pacific and indeed the Asia-Pacific region."
With HMAS Cairns already the homeport for nine Royal Australian Naval Vessels, its operations are supported by over 900 Navy and civilian personnel.
Hoping to garner even more maritime business, Dick said there will be over 100 industry representatives also in attendance at the event.