Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday emphasized India’s strong commitment to building partnerships with large ocean countries in the Pacific region during his address to the Pacific Islands leaders at the Pacific Forum in Papua New Guinea.
The Prime Minister said that India does not view the region as “small island states” but as “large ocean countries hungry for development”.
“India does not look at Pacific island countries merely as small island states. The Pacific is no longer distant. India sees them as large ocean countries with great potential to contribute to global peace, stability, and prosperity,” he said.
He added that India was set to take its partnership in the region to a new level and provide further support in areas such as capacity-building and people-to-people exchanges.
“India is engaging with all 14 Forum member countries in the Pacific in areas such as capacity-building, health, education, renewable energy, IT and satellite-based services,” he said.
The Prime Minister praised the Forum as a “key collective voice” for the region and said India was committed to playing a more supportive role, including direct contributions to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
“Both India and Forum members can collectively work to