New Delhi: India is expected to push for deeper engagement with 14 resource-rich Pacific Island nations tomorrow at a summit of the countries of strategically important South Pacific region where China has strong presence.
The 2nd Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit, being hosted by India in Jaipur, is aimed at stepping up cooperation with the island nations, some which have large oil and gas reserves.
Heads of states or governments of at least nine countries of the grouping will be participating at the summit which will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ahead of the meet, Modi has expressed hope that the summit will strengthen India's bonds with the 14 nations.
"I welcome all the leaders and delegates who are coming to India for the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation," he tweeted ahead of the August 21 Summit in Jaipur.
"I am very optimistic about FIPIC Summit. Am sure it will strengthen India's bond with the Pacific island nations," he added.
The sectors that India will look for deeper cooperation with the island nations include oil and natural gas, mining, IT, health care, fishing and marine research.
The island nations is taking part in the FIPIC summit include Cook Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Niue, Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
President Pranab Mukherjee today said India is keen to work with Pacific Island countries in harnessing their mineral, marine and hydrocarbon resources.