The Government of India has reaffirmed its commitment to the Pacific region with major projects planned for the 14-member countries of the India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC).

While delivering his keynote address at the 3rd FIPIC Summit in Papua New Guinea Monday, India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi outlined prospects for regional assistance and increased collaboration between India and the region.

As part of an action plan to strengthen the India-Pacific Island countries partnership, India will commit to a 100-bed regional super speciality hospital for Fiji.

Prime Minister Modi also announced that India will set up a regional IT and cyber security training hub and a jaipur foot camp in PNG.

Other commitments made include the Sagar Amrut scholarship, the FIPIC SME development project, solar projects for government buildings, desalination units for drinking water, supply of sea ambulances, dialysis units, yoga centres, and the set-up of emergency helplines.

On the margins of the FIPIC Summit, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka held a bilateral meeting with Modi where they discussed opportunities for partnership in the areas of climate mitigation, disaster risk resilience, renewable energy, education and health sector.

The meeting reaffirmed Fiji and India’s solidarity in building a sustainable and resilient future in the face of the current geopolitical challenges.

Prime Minister Rabuka was pleased to meet Prime Minister Modi and commended him for his commitment and unwavering support to Fiji and the Pacific.

He expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Modi for convening the FIPIC Summit, which is an important dialogue mechanism for building a stronger region.

Prime Minister Rabuka added that Fiji is looking forward to working closely with Prime Minister Modi to enhance our bilateral relations at all levels.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka Monday conferred the Companion of the Order of Fiji Medal to his Indian counterpart, Shri Narendra Modi on the margins of the 3rd Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) in Papua New Guinea.

Prime Minister Rabuka bestowed the special medal on behalf of the President of Fiji, Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere in recognition of Modi’s outstanding achievements and meritorious service to humanity.

The Companion of the Order of Fiji is the highest possible accolade that the Government of Fiji bestows to accord respect and admiration for service.

In his response, Prime Minister Modi expressed his sincere gratitude to the government and the people of Fiji for the kind gesture, adding India and Fiji are traditional partners and share common values.

Prime Minister Modi said it was an honour to have received the medal and that the act of recognition further demonstrated “our strong bilateral ties and our people-to-people links”.

Prime Minister Modi also dedicated the honour to the people of India and Fijians of Indian descent who played an important role in the linkage between India and Fiji.