PM Modi announces $150 mn line of credit to group of Pacific island nations

PTI

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for a photograph with the delegates of India-Pacific Islands Leaders’ Meeting, in  New York, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (Twitter/PTI Photo)

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for a photograph with the delegates of India-Pacific Islands Leaders’ Meeting, in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (Twitter/PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a USD 150 million line of credit to the group of Pacific island nations for undertaking solar, renewable energy and climate-related projects based on their requirement.

Modi, who attended the India-Pacific Islands Developing States (PSIDS) Leaders’ Meeting, also announced a total allocation of USD 12 million to the member states towards implementation of high impact developmental project in the area of their choice.

The meeting was held here on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. This is the first time he has met the leaders of the PSIDS on the margins of UNGA in a plurilateral format.

“In New York, I had the opportunity to meet leaders of the Pacific Islands and interact with them on ways to boost cooperation between our nations. Pacific Islands are at the core of our Act East Policy. Issues like climate change and disaster management were discussed,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

The meeting was attended by the Heads of delegation of Fiji, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Palau, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, The Independent State of Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu and Republic of Vanuatu.

“In the spirit of his fundamental Mantra “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas (together with all, for the development of all and with the trust of all),” Modi announced allocation of 12 million dollars grant (1 million dollar to each PSIDS) towards implementation of high impact developmental project in the area of their choice.

In addition, a concessional Line of Credit of USD 150 million which can be availed by the PSIDS for undertaking solar, renewable energy and climate-related projects based on each country’s requirement was announced, according to a press release issued here.

Modi emphasised that India and the PSIDS have shared values and a shared future and he highlighted the need for development policies to be inclusive and sustainable to reduce inequality and contribute to empowerment and improvement of the quality of people’s lives.

The press release added that Modi said India is equally committed to tackling the impact of climate change and supports efforts of the PSIDS to achieve their developmental goals through necessary developmental and technical assistance.

Modi underlined the reality of climate change and called for increasing the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix to mitigate many adverse effects of climate change.

He also expressed India’s readiness to share its experiences in developing alternate energy. He expressed his satisfaction as many countries from the region have joined the International Solar Alliance and invited others to join this initiative.

Prime Minister Modi also invited Leaders of PSIDS to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

The press release said that India’s relationship with Pacific Island nations has deepened with the evolution of Act East Policy, resulting in the setting up of the action-oriented Forum for India Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC).

The first and second editions of the FIPIC took place in Fiji (2015) and Jaipur (2016).

During the FIPIC Summits, the Prime Minister articulated India’s desire to be a close partner of the Pacific Island nations and its readiness to work closely to advance their developmental agenda.

The meeting deliberated on a wide range of issues, including sharing of development experiences for the attainment of SDGs, enhancing cooperation in renewable energy, joining the newly launched Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, capacity building, implementation of projects under the India-UN Development Partnership Fund and a roadmap for future India-PSIDS cooperation.

Modi reaffirmed his commitment for providing developmental assistance for capacity building and proposed to depute technical experts to provide training and offered to organise specialized courses also under ITEC programme in priority areas identified by partner countries, including training of diplomats from Pacific Island nations at the Foreign Service Institute.

In the health sector, Modi offered to organise a Jaipur Foot Artificial Limb Fitment Camp in a Pacific regional hub under ‘India for Humanity’ programme.

With a view to further enhancing people-to-people contact, Modi announced a Distinguished Visitors Programme under which eminent persons from these countries can visit India.

India would also welcome the visit of a Parliamentarian delegation from the PICs to India. To continue High-Level engagement, Modi extended an invitation to all the leaders for the 3rd FIPIC Summit to be held in Port Moresby in the first half of 2020.

The leaders of PSIDS welcomed the initiatives proposed by PM Modi to strengthen engagement and cooperation between the two sides and reassured full support from their respective governments.
(PTI)