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PM James Marape: India talks vital


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May 22, 2023The National Main Stories

PRIME Minister James Marape says the meeting with India today will open up a third dimension in trade and business, and the country’s capacity to have direct access to India’s markets.

“India is a country just like us, countries that emerged from colonial rule, and are growing, developing,” he said.

He will meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Forum for India-Pacific Cooperation (FIPIC) in Port Moresby.

“This will be the first time an Indian Prime Minister will come to Papua New Guinea. All protocols and security details are in place, and we are honored to host the third FIPIC meeting,” Marape said.

“This meeting with India is crucial because it will open up a third dimension for us, in trade, business, and also help us to build our capacity and enable us to have access to direct market.”

Marape said important global issues would be discussed during the FIPIC meeting in Port Moresby, which 14 Pacific Island countries would be attending.

According to the Indian High Commission, the one-day forum will address the needs of the 14 nations: Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshal Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Palau, Tonga and Tuvalu.

Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka arrived on Thursday, while other leaders flew in over the weekend. New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived last night.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso said Modi would have his own security protocol.

“We (PNG) will take the lead in providing security, but Modi will also have his own security who will work closely with our security teams,” he said.

FIPIC was launched during Modi’s visit to Fiji in November 2014.

According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, India’s focus has largely been on the Indian Ocean where it has sought to play a major role and protect its strategic and commercial interests. The FIPIC initiative marks a serious effort to expand India’s engagement in the Pacific region.

It said although the FIPIC countries were relatively small in land area and distant from India, many had large exclusive economic zones (EEZs), and offer promising possibilities for fruitful cooperation.

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