CAPITAL: New Delhi
POPULATION: 1.324 billion (2016)
LANGUAGE: Hindi, English (incl. 20+ recognised languages)
FORUM DIALOGUE MEMBERSHIP ESTABLISHED: 2006
ADDITIONAL FORUM DIALOGUE MECHANISMS: Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (est. 2015, last met in 2017)
POLITICAL SYSTEM: Parliamentary Democracy
HEAD OF STATE: President Pranab Mukherjee
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT: Prime Minister Narendra Modi
DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS IN THE PACIFIC: 4 (Australia, Fiji, PNG and NZ)
SIGNIFICANT MULTILATERAL RELATIONSHIPS: Member of ADB, Commonwealth, G77, GCF Board Member, IMF, NAM, WB, WTO, ASEAN Dialogue partner, AAIB, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
Common areas of strategic interest
India works closely with FICs on international issues relating to the environment, climate change, UN reform and freedom of navigation. Discussions to date, via the FIPIC, have involved climate change, UN reform, maritime boundaries, and fisheries management. Recently at the ‘India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference’, the minister of state for external Affairs Gen (Retd) V K Singh announced that India will contribute USD 1m to Fiji’s Trust Fund for their Presidency of COP-23 to be held in November 2017. FICs also benefit from the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), a fully funded program for training and capacity building for professionals in developing countries.
Trade in the region
In 2016 total annual trade of USD 327,231m was recorded between India and the Pacific Region. In 2015 there was an increase in trade of 35.19% and a decrease in trade of 35.43% in 2016. Between 2014 & 2016 PNG has been consistently higher in both imports and exports value.
India seeks cooperation with Forum countries on UN Security Council reform. It has been a UNSC member several times, most recently from 2011-2012, and has a bid to become a permanent member. India is a member of the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation (referred to as the Committee of 24, or C-24).
In 2006 India announced an annual grant of USD 100,000 to the 14 Forum Island Countries. This cumulative grant increased to USD 125,000 in 2009 and USD200, 000 in 2014. Between 2005 and 2012, Indian development assistance to the Pacific totaled over USD 50m in the form of Lines of Credit and over USD 11m in grants. India have also instigated significant assistance projects through FPIC-2. India has almost doubled the amount of “Grant-in-Aid” from USD 125,000 to 200,000. Various other FPIC-2 projects are underway in the Pacific.