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India announces action plan to boost relations with Pacific island nations

Among other things, India will set up a regional IT and Cyber Security training hub in Papua New Guinea, set up dialysis units, yoga centres and Jan Aushadi Kendras in the region

Narendra Modi, PM Modi

Photo: PTI

BS Web Team New Delhi

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On the sidelines of the Forum for India-Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC) summit in Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced a 12-step action plan to boost partnerships with Pacific Island countries. This includes a 100-bed regional super speciality hospital in Fiji, 1000 Sagar Amrut Scholarships in the next five years and a supply of desalination units for drinking water.

In a tweet, Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs, said, "It will fulfil the developmental aspirations of the people of the region and consolidate the shared vision of a free, open and prosperous Indo- Pacific."

Among other things, India will set up a regional IT and Cyber Security training hub in Papua New Guinea and set up dialysis units, yoga centres and Jan Aushadi Kendras in the region.


In his remarks, PM Modi also underlined the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific for the Pacific island nations and said the Quad is working in this direction.

He emphasised the need for multilateralism and respecting the sovereignty and integrity of all countries. The summit took place at a time when China is making efforts to enhance its military and diplomatic influence in the region.

"Like you, we believe in multilateralism; support a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and respect the sovereignty and integrity of all countries," Modi said, as reported by news agency PTI.

He said the Quad -- comprising Japan, India, Australia and the United States -- is working towards it.

"We are ready to share our abilities and experiences with you without any hesitation -- be it digital technology or space technology, be it health security or food security, be it climate change or environmental protection. We are with you all the way," he said.

Modi also asserted that the voice of the global south should be a priority for the UN Security Council.

"For this, reform of international institutions should be our shared priority," he said.

PM Modi co-chaired the summit along with his counterpart from Papua New Guinea.

India's engagement with the 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs) is part of New Delhi's Act East Policy.

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First Published: May 22 2023 | 11:02 AM IST

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