2:01 am - Sunday September 23, 2018

‘Proud to have India as a partner in Fiji’s future’, says Fijian PM Josiah Bainimarama

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Expressing his delight at the signing of three agreements between New Delhi and Suva, Fijian Prime Minister Josiah Bainimarama on Wednesday said that he is proud to have India as a partner in his country’s future.

“This is only the beginning. We have some 15 more agreements in the works and we expect to sign them soon,” said Bainimarama after the signing of agreements between both sides.

“We are pleased that our relationship with India is growing and we are proud to have India as a partner in Fiji’s future,” he added.

Bainimarama said that he had a very cordial and productive discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“And I must say I was not surprised that we found much common ground. I believe we have laid the groundwork for a very productive relationship in the future,” he added.

The Fijian Prime Minister said India is a growing power with a very talented people.

“It is making impressive advances in technology, in creating opportunities and economic growth all while tackling long-standing problems of poverty, underdevelopment and marginalisation,” he added.

Bainimarama further said the two sides have much to learn from each other.

“And so we believe, we need to stimulate exchanges as much as possible. Our people have a great deal of wisdom and experience and we need to put them together to share that,” said Bainimarama.

“Fiji also needs assistance and I am pleased that we have been able to discuss India’s assistance to Fiji which is both generous and respectful of our needs,” he added.

India today announced a 75 million USD line of credit for Fiji for a co-generation power plant and upgrading the sugar industry and also a five million USD fund to develop its villages, besides agreeing to expand bilateral defence and security cooperation between the two countries.

Prime Minister Modi, who made these announcements after talks with his Fijian counterpart, also announced a visa on arrival for Fijians and assistance projects that included a parliament library and doubling the scholarships and training slots in India for people from this country.

Prime Minister Modi arrived in Fiji earlier this morning on the third and final leg of his 10-day three-nation tour. He was received by Prime Minister Frank Bainimar ama at Suva International Airport.

Prime Minister Modi was given a ceremonial guard of honour at the airport after which he attended the traditional welcome ceremony at the Albert Park.

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