Fijian PM to attend India-Pacific islands meeting

Suva, Aug 13 (IANS) Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will attend the India-Pacific islands dialogue meeting to be held in India this month, the Fijian government announced on Thursday.

According to Fiji’s information department, Bainimarama will join leaders at the second Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) summit from August 20-21 in three different Indian cities to discuss ways to enhance India’s relationship with Fiji and other Pacific Island countries, Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 13 leaders from Pacific Island countries, including Fiji, have confirmed their attendance.

Earlier in November 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Fiji to attend the first summit, proposed to hold them regularly to increase ties among the participating nations.

“The success of last year’s summit led to Modi’s proposal that FIPIC be held regularly, with this year’s meeting to be held in India. In line with last year’s summit, this year’s meeting will look at strengthening cooperation between Pacific Island states and India,” the department said.

“The Fijian and Indian governments share many interests including a strong commitment to democracy. Both countries have much to gain by expanding trade, investment, and cultural and technical exchanges,” Bainimarama said.

“It is my hope this visit will strengthen our friendship and allow India and Fiji to move forward together into a future of shared prosperity.”

According to official data, nearly 40 percent of Fiji’s population are of Indian descent.

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