Modi Extols The Value Of Pacific Island Nations
Developed in 2014, the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) is an international association of 14 Pacific Island countries, including the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Points to Ponder:
Forum for India Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC)
- FIPIC was introduced during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Fiji in November 2014.
- Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu are among the 14 Pacific Island nations that make up FIPIC’s membership. The other members are the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa.
- Despite having small landmasses, these island nations have sizable exclusive economic zones (EEZs), which present significant opportunities for cooperation with India.
- India’s Focus on the Indian Ocean: To safeguard its strategic and economic interests, India has traditionally concentrated on the Indian Ocean. The FIPIC programme, on the other hand, reveals a serious attempt to increase India’s involvement in the Pacific area.
- commerce Statistics: At the time of the FIPIC’s establishment in 2014, there was over $300 million in annual commerce between India and the Pacific Island nations, with about $200 million in exports and $100 million in imports.
- The FIPIC-2 Summit, which took place in Jaipur on August 21 and 22, 2015, made important strides towards enhancing India’s relations with the Pacific Island nations.
- Prime Minister Modi announced the opening of the FIPIC Trade Office at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) during FIPIC-2 to boost business prospects between India and the Pacific Island nations.
- FICCI Business Accelerator: On September 7, 2015, FICCI introduced the Business Accelerator for FIPIC to strengthen the FIPIC initiative even more. Through this programme, trade and investment between India and the Pacific Island nations were to be encouraged and made easier.
Points to Ponder:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Port Moresby for the Forum for India Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) conference. Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu are among the 14 nations that make up FIPIC.
- PM Modi emphasised the significance of small island states, saying that because of their substantial presence in the wide oceanic region, they should be recognised as “large ocean states” in the Pacific Ocean.
- India’s Commitment: The Prime Minister emphasised India’s dedication to supporting the FIPIC member countries’ development objectives. He highlighted India’s readiness to offer assistance in several areas.
- Challenges: PM Modi recognised the difficulties that these countries were facing, such as famine, poverty, natural disasters, and climate change. He also spoke of the growing obstacles in the supply chains for necessities like food, gasoline, fertiliser, and medicines.
- India’s Support: According to the prime minister, India has helped FIPIC nations during difficult times. He gave instances of India’s assistance in the delivery of vaccines, medications, wheat, and sugar.
- The FIPIC summit was the third of its type, following two earlier gatherings. The first two gatherings were held in November 2014 in Fiji and August 2015 in Jaipur.
- Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea, the host nation, pleaded with India to support the small island states in international fora like the G-20 and the G-7. He emphasised the difficulties FIPIC members experience as a result of high tariffs and food costs.
- India’s promises: India will encourage sustainable development, science and technology, and space applications, PM Modi informed FIPIC members. This showed India’s dedication to helping these nations with their development endeavours.
- Recognition in Papua New Guinea: Governor General Sir Bob Dadae presented PM Modi with the Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL), the highest civilian honour of Papua New Guinea, during a special event.
- Growing Strategic Significance: PM Modi’s visit to Papua New Guinea emphasised the Pacific Island countries’ growing strategic importance. China signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands, demonstrating its interest in the area.
- Following the FIPIC conference, Prime Minister Modi travelled to Sydney, Australia, to meet with Prime Minister Albanese in an official bilateral discussion. He stated that he wanted to take defence and security relationships in the Indo-Pacific to the “next level” to boost India-Australia relations.