November 2014 \ Diaspora News \ PM's Fiji Visit

Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi flew to Fiji from Australia, the first visit by an Indian Prime to this Pacific Island nation in 33 years. He met with his counterpart, PM Frank Bainimarama and pointed out that Fiji could serve as a hub for stronger Indian engagement with Pacific islands. About 37.5 per cent of Fiji’s population of 900,000 plus is of Indian origin, descendants of Girmitiyas who went to work there as indentured labour. This is an extract from the PM’s address before the Fijian Parliament

We also have shared stakes in a peaceful, cooperative and prosperous Asia and Pacific regions. Stretching from the Indian Ocean through continental Asia into Pacific, this is a region of enormous dynamism and opportunities, but also a region with many challenges.

Fiji is a leader in the region and a strong voice in the developing world. Together, we can also work for a future in the region, in which there is an equal place for all nations - big and small, developed and developing – and a climate of peace and tranquility.

I thank Prime Minister and Fiji for their leadership in hosting my meeting with the Pacific leaders later today.

Let us join hands to create an ocean of opportunity that stretches from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Sometimes our relations have been adrift.

Sometimes our relations have been adrift.

Let us chart a new course. Let us start a new era - When it does not take another 33 years for an Indian Prime Minister to visit Fiji. When Fijians and Indians work with each other from the comfort of familiarity and the ease that comes with the habit of regular partnership.

When we draw strength from the ties of history and the bonds of emotions; seek new purpose in our many shared interests; and seize our new opportunities.”

Tags: Fiji