PM Modi landed in Papua New Guinea's Port Moresby on Sunday. As he is the first Indian PM to visit the nation, he was welcomed at the airport by Papua New Guinea's PM James Marape, who touched the former's feet to seek blessing. "Reached Papua New Guinea. I am thankful to PM James Marape for coming to the airport and welcoming me. This is a very special gesture which I will always remember. I look forward to boosting India’s ties with this great nation during my visit," the Indian PM wrote on Twitter.
Some more glimpses from a very special welcome in Papua New Guinea. pic.twitter.com/uHFCV2j0FA— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 21, 2023
The Indian community in Papua New Guinea came in large numbers and showed remarkable affection. Thankful to them for the memorable welcome. pic.twitter.com/K1BT4RGe7B— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 21, 2023
Before reaching Papua New Guinea, PM Modi was in Hiroshima, Japan, for the G7 summit. A meeting of Quad nations was also held in Hiroshima. In Papua New Guinea, PM Modi will hold a meeting with leaders of FIPIC (Forum for India-Pacfic Islands Cooperation).
The Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) is a platform established to enhance cooperation and foster closer ties between India and the Pacific Island countries. The initiative was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Fiji in November 2014. The forum aims to strengthen bilateral relations, promote sustainable development, and address common challenges faced by the countries in the India-Pacific region.
The FIPIC consists of 14 island countries, namely Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. These countries are collectively referred to as the Pacific Island Countries (PICs). India, being the driving force behind the forum, serves as a bridge between the PICs and the Indian subcontinent.
The objectives of FIPIC revolve around several key areas, including sustainable development, climate change, renewable energy, trade and investment, capacity building, and cultural exchanges. The forum provides a platform for dialogue and cooperation, allowing participating countries to share experiences, knowledge, and best practices in these areas.
One of the major highlights of FIPIC is the periodic convening of summits, where leaders from India and the Pacific Island countries come together to discuss and strategize on various issues of mutual interest. These summits provide an opportunity for high-level engagement, enabling leaders to address concerns and explore avenues for cooperation. The first FIPIC Summit was held in Suva, Fiji, in 2015, and subsequent summits have taken place in India and other participating countries.
FIPIC has facilitated several initiatives and projects aimed at strengthening collaboration between India and the Pacific Island countries. These initiatives include capacity building programs, scholarships for Pacific Island students to study in India, healthcare partnerships, cooperation in disaster management, and the development of renewable energy projects. India has also extended lines of credit to PICs to support infrastructure development and economic growth in the region.