Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Pacific island countries that India is a trustworthy development partner because it respects their priorities and bases its collaboration on moral principles.
In an address at the FIPIC (Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation) summit, Modi also spoke about the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and other global developments and said those considered "our confidants, it was found that they did not stand by us in the time of need."
"India respects your priorities. We are proud to be your development partner - be it humanitarian aid or your development, you can see India as a reliable partner. Our approach is based on human values," Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit the country, said.
In his opening remarks, Modi also discussed the negative effects of the Covid-19 and other global changes on supplies of food, gasoline, fertiliser, and pharmaceutical products at the summit attended by top leaders of 14 Pacific Island Nations in this capital city of Papua New Guinea.
"I am glad that India stood shoulder to shoulder with its Pacific Island friends in this challenging time. Whether it is a vaccine made in India or essential medicines; be it wheat or sugar, India continued to help all fellow countries according to its capabilities," he said.
PM Modi, Albanese rename Sydney suburb as ‘Little India’
During the event at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park, PM Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese renamed the Sydney district as "Little India." Speaking at the event, Modi announced that India will open a new consulate in Brisbane soon. During his address, he asserted India’s position in the world as the “force of global good. India is always ready to help others whenever there is a disaster,” he said. He also hailed India as the “mother of democracy,” as well as a “bright spot” in the global economy.
PM Modi informed the local media that he wants closer bilateral defence and security cooperation as China's influence in the Indo-Pacific region expands. Ahead of Modi’s arrival, Prime Minister Albanese said in a statement, “I am honoured to host Prime Minister Modi for an official visit to Australia, after receiving an extremely warm welcome in India earlier this year.”