World Bank president Bob Zoellick says it is "absolutely critical" that Australia open its gates to migrant workers from its South Pacific neighbours.
"Labour mobility is absolutely critical to the long-term development of the South Pacific," Mr Zoellick told Fairfax newspapers.
"I don't know about Australia's visa and immigration rules but labour mobility will be important for remittances and skills" in neighbour countries.
Mr Zoellick said the move would boost the fledgling economies in neighbouring countries such as Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and East Timor. [Read more]