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Business News/ News / India/  PM Modi announces 12-step action plan to boost India-Pacific Island nations ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Papua New Guinea counterpart held a bilateral on Monday in Port Moresby. The two leaders discussed cooperation in Commerce, technology, and healthcare as well as in addressing climate change.

PM Modi expressed his appreciation to PM James Marape for co-hosting the FIPIC III Summit in Port Moresby. Prime Minister Modi also announced a 12-step action plan to propel India’s partnership with Pacific Island Countries.

Pacific Island nations include the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

FIPIC was launched during PM Modi's visit to Fiji in 2014. The summit took place at a time when China is making efforts to enhance its military and diplomatic influence in the region.

PM Modi's 12-step action plan include: a 100-bed regional super specialty hospital in Fiji; Setting up a regional IT and cyber security training hub in Papua New Guinea; Sagar Amrut Scholarships-100 scholarships in the next five years; Jaipur foot camp in Papua New Guinea in 2023. FIPIC SME development project, a solar project for government buildings, provide desalination units for drinking water, supply sea ambulances, set up dialysis unit, emergency helpline number, set up Jan Aushadi kendras, and set up yoga centres.

Prime Minister Modi is the first Indian PM to visit the island nation. The two leaders also launched a translation of the Tamil classic ‘Thirukkural’ to the Tok Pisin language of Papua New Guinea. The translated book is co-authored by linguist Subha Sasindran and Sasindran Muthuvel, Governor of West New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea. The book has a foreword by Prime Minister Marape.

PM Modi arrived in Papua New Guinea on Sunday evening from Japan where he attended the summit of the G7 advanced economies. PM Modi's visit to Papua New Guinea on the second leg of his three-nation tour is the first ever by any Indian prime minister. He was received at the airport by Prime Minister James Marape who touched his feet as a mark of respect. Normally Papua New Guinea doesn't give a ceremonial welcome to any leader coming after sunset. But a special exception was made for Prime Minister Modi and a ceremonial welcome was accorded to him.

Whereas PM Modi, while speaking at the forum said that for him, the Pacific island nations are "large ocean countries and not small island states".

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Updated: 22 May 2023, 10:09 AM IST
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