Context: Prime Minister of India has gone to Papua New Guinea to attend the 3rd Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit.
About Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC)
The Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) was launched during Hon’ble Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi’s visit to Fiji in November 2014.
Member Islands: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
India’s focus has largely been on the Indian Ocean where it has sought to play a major role and protect its strategic and commercial interests. The FIPIC initiative marks a serious effort to expand India’s engagement in the Pacific region.
At this moment, total annual trade of about $300 million between the Indian and Pacific Island countries, whereas exports are around $200 million and imports are around $100 million.
Areas of Cooperation:
- Special USD one million fund for adapting to climate change and clean energy,
- Establishing a trade office in India.
- Pan Pacific Islands e-network to improve digital connectivity.
- Extending visa on arrival at Indian airports for all the 14 Pacific Island countries.
- Cooperation in space technology applications for improving the quality of life of the islands, and training to diplomats from Pacific Island countries.
- In addition, India has increased the annual “Grant-in-Aid” from USD 125,000 to 200,000 to each of the 14 Pacific Countries for community projects of their choice, and launched a new Visitors Programme for Pacific Island Countries.
- The second summit of the Forum for India Pacific Cooperation (FIPIC-2) in Jaipur on 21-22 August 2015 has made significant progress in strengthening India’s engagement with the 14 Pacific Island countries.
- During the second summit of FIPIC, Hon’ble Prime Minister has announced FIPIC Trade Office at Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) to promote Trade & Investment opportunities between India & Pacific Island Countries.
The main objectives of the business accelerator are:
- Provide necessary information and facilitation to businessmen on both sides regarding prospects of Trade and Investment
- Facilitate meetings between the concerned businessmen from both sides
- Exchange of business delegations between India and Pacific Islands Countries (PICs)
- Online & Offline Match Making Services
- Organising Events/ Trade Fairs