The Prime Minister (PM) during the during the third Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) in Papua New Guinea has encouraged India to continue engaging with the Pacific Island Countries (PIC).
FIPIC is an integral way for India to engage with the region in development activities like fighting climate change, clean energy, and technology and community development projects.
India’s PM Narendra Modi who proposed the idea for FIPIC travelled to PNG for this year’s third forum. Vanuatu’s PM Ishmael Kalsakau expressed Vanuatu’s appreciation to India’s PM Modi for placing the Pacific a priority for India.
He said Vanuatu regards India as a preferred partner for holistic development, and that the establishment of these formal platforms will guarantee better coordination and quicker execution of prioritized goals.
He highlighted how India has overcome its colonial history and how its visionary leaders have changed it into what it is today and what it will be in the coming years
“It is that legacy that continues to draw our inspiration in developing stronger development-oriented pathways with India that will contribute to building greater resilience in the Vanuatu economy as we transit out of the dependency mode other players have put us in.
“I seized the opportunity to highlight Vanuatu’s vulnerability to climate change devastating impacts and expressed the Government’s enormous gratitude for India’s contributions to us recovery efforts,” said the PM
Vanuatu’s public sector debt was 51.5 percent of GDP by the end of 2020, based on the country’s vulnerabilities. History has shown that public debt typically climbs significantly after disasters, and this has been the case for Vanuatu, especially following TC Pam in 2015.
In addition to the pledging of much-needed humanitarian aid, the Vanuatu Government is keen on receiving cash injections into its coffers to sustain medium to longer-term recovery efforts.
“I further commended on India’s willingness to align its outreach to regional priorities as outlined in the 2050 Strategy, and for positioning itself as a partner of choice for PIC,” said the PM.
“Whilst noting India’s strengths and value-add in priority areas such as Science, Technology, Agriculture, Climate Change and Disaster (Risk Management), Resources and Economic Development including in renewable energy.”
He encouraged India to continue engaging with PIC, with emphasis on the centrality of the 2050 Strategy.
The 2050 Strategy is the blueprint for the Pacific region for the next 30 years, deeply rooted in the Pacific context, amplifying our united voices in solidarity to support delivery of action-orientated solutions, particularly in the context of accelerated climate action.
The first FIPIC was held in Fiji in 2014 while the second forum was held in 2016 in India. The forums aim to build a stronger relation between India and the Pacific.Collectively, the Forum had access to national perspectives on pressing development concerns that may be resolved as part of India’s outreach to the Pacific.
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