Australia should consider setting up a new infrastructure fund for Pacific Island nations amid concerns about China’s increasing lending in the region, Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong has said at a United States Studies Centre event.

Senator Wong said there was an obvious need in the region for greater infrastructure investment and late last year the US Government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation signed a deal with the Japan Bank for International co-operation to increase investment in infrastructure throughout the region.

“I welcome these announcements as important steps to addressing the deficit in infrastructure investment in the region,” said Senator Wong.