NEW DELHI (TIP): President Pranab Mukherjee on august 20 said India is keen to work with Pacific Island countries in harnessing their mineral, marine and hydrocarbon resources. Addressing the Heads of States from Pacific Island countries who coverged here for the second summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC) at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mukherjee said these countries are generously endowed with natural resources and India would be happy to work with these countries in harnessing these resources. “We would be happy to work with you in harnessing your mineral, marine and hydrocarbon resources. Our Government and private sector are keen to strengthen and diversify our bilateral trade and encourage investments in fisheries, agriculture, oil and natural gas, mining and water desalination,” the President said. The island nations participating in the FIPIC summit include Fiji, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Tonga.
“Towards this end, India’s annual grant-in-aid to each Pacific Island Country has been enhanced from $125,000 to $200,000 last year. We hope this will support specific projects prioritised by you,” he said. Mukherjee also highlighted the challenges faced by India and pacific countries due to climate change. “…Like you, we are confronted with serious challenges in preserving our fragile ecosystems while stimulating growth. We believe that the sharing of best practices and eco-friendly technologies among our countries will greatly help us all to collaborate in obtaining finances and technology transfers required to combat the impact of climate change,” he said.