Modi FIPIC, Pacific Island countries
PM Narendra Modi with FIPIC leaders at the FIPIC Summit in Papua New Guinea | Pic: Twitter/Narendra Modi

PM Modi promises host of development initiatives in Pacific Island countries

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told leaders of 14 Pacific Island countries on Monday (May 22) that India was ready to share its capabilities with them “without any hesitation”. He also announced new development initiatives in sectors such as healthcare, cyberspace, and small and medium enterprises.

Modi made the announcements at the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) summit in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. In his concluding remarks, Modi said India has decided to establish a super-specialty cardiology hospital in Fiji and will help set up dialysis units in all the 14 Pacific Island countries and provide sea ambulances as well.

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“To boost healthcare in the Pacific region, we have decided to establish a super-specialty cardiology hospital in Fiji. This hospital will be equipped with trained staff, modern facilities, and infrastructure, and it will serve as a lifeline for the entire region,” Modi said.

He said the Indian government will bear the full cost of this mega greenfield project.

Jan Aushadhi Scheme

The prime minister also proposed to bring Jan Aushadhi Centres to the region.

“Through the Jan Aushadhi Scheme in India, more than 1,800 high-quality generic medicines are being provided to people at affordable prices. For example, the anti-diabetes medicine is available at up to 90 per cent lower cost at Jan Aushadhi Centres as compared to the market prices,” he said.

“Other medicines are also available at a discounted price, ranging from 60 per cent to 90 per cent of the market cost. I propose bringing similar Jan Aushadhi Centres to your countries,” he said.

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He further added: “We propose establishing yoga centres in your countries to promote its benefits.”

Industry schemes

Modi announced that the Centre of Excellence for IT in Papua New Guinea will be upgraded and transformed into a Regional Information Technology and Cybersecurity Hub.

“A 24/7 emergency helpline will be established for the citizens of Fiji, and we would be delighted to help set up a similar facility in all the PICs (Pacific Island Countries),” he said.

Modi also announced a project for the development of the SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) sector in every Pacific Island country. “Under this scheme, machinery and technology supplies will be provided, and capacity-building programmes will be conducted to enhance capabilities,” he said.

“The project to convert the Pacific Island Heads of State Residences to solar-powered ones was well-received by you all. We will now convert at least one government building into a solar-powered building in all the FIPIC countries,” he added.

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Other promises

To address the water scarcity issue, Modi also pledged to provide desalination units for the people of every PIC.

The prime minister also announced that 1,000 ITEC training opportunities will be provided in the next five years under the Sagar Amrut Scholarship scheme for PICs.

Modi said India has decided to organise a Jaipur Foot camp in Papua New Guinea this year. The famed prosthetic limbs are offered in Jaipur Foot camps. “Starting from 2024, two such camps will be organised every year in the PICs,” Modi said.

(With agency inputs)

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