PM Narendra Modi arrived in Papua New Guinea on May 21, embarking on his historic visit to the country. He was greeted with immense warmth by Prime Minister James Marape, who paid a gesture of reverence by touching PM Modi’s feet, seeking his blessings. This symbolic act of respect showcases the cultural ties between India and Papua New Guinea. Despite the usual practice of not providing a ceremonial welcome for leaders arriving after sunset, a special exception was made to honor PM Modi, and he will be accorded a grand ceremonial welcome.
First-ever Visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Papua New Guinea
The visit by PM Narendra Modi marks a significant milestone in the bilateral relations between India and Papua New Guinea. It is the first-ever visit by an Indian prime minister to this beautiful island nation in the Pacific. This historic occasion underscores the importance that both nations attach to strengthening ties and exploring avenues of cooperation.
Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit
One of the highlights of PM Narendra Modi’s visit is the hosting of the third summit of the Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC). The FIPIC Summit, to be jointly hosted by PM Modi and Prime Minister Marape on May 22, is a platform for dialogue and collaboration between India and Pacific Island Countries (PIC).
Gathering of Pacific Island Leaders
The FIPIC Summit will witness the participation of leaders from 14 Pacific Island Countries (PIC). This gathering holds immense significance as it brings together leaders from nations that rarely have the opportunity to converge due to challenges in connectivity and other logistical issues. The participating countries include the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Promoting Cooperation and Connectivity
PM Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude for the acceptance of the invitation to attend the FIPIC Summit by all 14 Pacific Island Countries. This summit serves as a platform for discussing and advancing cooperation in various sectors, including trade, investment, climate change, and sustainable development. It offers an opportunity to foster stronger ties, promote regional integration, and explore avenues for enhanced connectivity and collaboration.
Bilateral Talks and Meetings
In addition to the FIPIC Summit, PM Modi will engage in bilateral talks with Prime Minister Marape, focusing on deepening the bilateral relationship and exploring areas of mutual interest. Furthermore, he is scheduled to meet with Bob Dadae, the Governor General of Papua New Guinea, further strengthening the diplomatic ties between the two nations.
PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Papua New Guinea signifies India’s commitment to furthering cooperation with Pacific Island nations and expanding its footprint in the region. It reflects the importance that India places on fostering strong and mutually beneficial relationships with countries across the globe.
Meeting Agenda: Prime Minister Modi and Papua New Guinea
1. Welcome and Introductions
– Opening remarks by Prime Minister Modi and the leader of the Papua New Guinea delegation.
– Exchange of pleasantries and acknowledgment of the historic bilateral relationship between India and Papua New Guinea.
2. Overview of Bilateral Relations
– Review of the existing bilateral agreements and areas of cooperation between the two countries.
– Identification of opportunities for further strengthening and diversifying the bilateral relationship.
3. Economic Cooperation
– Discussion on enhancing trade and investment between India and Papua New Guinea.
– Exploration of opportunities for collaboration in sectors such as agriculture, mining, energy, infrastructure development, and tourism.
– Identification of potential areas for technical assistance and capacity building.
4. Development Assistance
– Presentation of India’s development assistance programs and initiatives.
– Discussion on potential areas of cooperation and assistance from India in Papua New Guinea’s socio-economic development, including infrastructure, healthcare, education, and skill development.
5. People-to-People Contacts
– Promotion of cultural exchanges, tourism, and educational linkages between the two countries.
– Exploration of opportunities to facilitate student exchanges, scholarships, and academic collaborations.
– Enhancement of people-to-people contacts through cultural festivals, sports events, and tourism promotion.
6. Regional and International Cooperation
– Exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.
– Discussion on cooperation within regional frameworks, such as ASEAN, Pacific Islands Forum, and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
– Exploration of opportunities for collaboration on global issues like climate change, sustainable development, and peacekeeping.
7. Closing Remarks and Future Steps
– Recapitulation of key points discussed during the meeting.
– Expression of commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations.
– Agreement on follow-up actions, including the scheduling of future high-level visits, signing of agreements, and implementation of joint projects.
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