Foreign Policy Watch: India-Pacific Island Nations

Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: FIPIC and its member countries; Act East Policy

Why in the News?

  • India as a member of FIPIC, has pledged $1 million for relief efforts in flood-hit “Papua New Guinea” showcasing solidarity with the affected nation.

What is the Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC)?

  • The Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) is a multilateral platform established by India to enhance cooperation with the Pacific Island countries.
  • FIPIC was established by India in 2014 during the first FIPIC Summit held in Suva, Fiji.
  • The initiative was announced by PM Narendra Modi as part of India’s broader “Act East” policy to strengthen engagement with the Pacific Island countries.


  • Purpose: To enhance India’s engagement with Pacific Island nations and support their development priorities through cooperative projects and initiatives.
  • Members: Includes India and 14 Pacific Islands nations (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu).


  1. First Summit – Suva, Fiji (November 2014)
    • Context: Initiated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the re-establishment of democracy in Fiji.
    • Significance: The summit highlighted the geopolitical interest of major powers in the Pacific, with Chinese leader Xi Jinping visiting Fiji shortly after Modi.
  2. Second Summit – Jaipur, India (August 2015)
    • Follow-up: As a continuation of the first summit, Modi invited the leaders of the 14 Pacific Islands to Jaipur.
    • Discussions: Covered cooperation in areas such as the blue economy, oil and natural gas, IT, healthcare, fishing, and marine research. Modi also assured to address their climate change concerns at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris.
  3. Third Summit – Papua New Guinea (May 2023)
    • Current Status: Most recent summit, emphasizing ongoing cooperation and collaboration between India and the Pacific Island nations.

Back2Basics: India’s Act East Policy

Launched in November 2014, by PM Modi
  • To promote economic cooperation, cultural ties, and develop a strategic relationship with countries in the Indo-Pacific region;
  • Enhancing India’s influence and economic development, especially in the North Eastern Region (NER).
  • Extends beyond ASEAN to include East Asian countries.
  • Intensive and continuous engagement in connectivity, trade, culture, defense, and people-to-people contact at bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels.
Key Dimensions (4C’s)
  1. Culture
  2. Commerce
  3. Connectivity
  4. Capacity building
Security Focus
  • Enhanced security cooperation, particularly in the context of Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean.
  • Promoting freedom of navigation and securing India’s role in the region.
Historical Context (Look East Policy)
  • Look East Policy initiated in 1992 by Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao.
  • Focused on strengthening economic integration and cultural ties primarily with ASEAN countries.
  • Aimed to bolster India’s role as a regional power and counter China’s strategic influence.
Evolution from Look East Policy Act East Policy is an upgrade and expansion of the Look East Policy, incorporating more comprehensive engagement strategies, including security cooperation and broader geographical focus.
Significant Engagements
  • India’s active participation in regional forums like the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and informal groupings such as the Quad.
  • Strategic partnerships and dialogues at various international platforms.
Major Projects Major projects under the policy include:



[2016] Evaluate the economic and strategic dimensions of India’s Look East Policy in the context of the post-Cold War international scenario. 

[2011] With reference to “Look East Policy” of India, consider the following statements:

  1. India wants to establish itself as an important regional player in East Asian affairs.
  2. India wants to plug the vacuum created by the termination of Cold War.
  3. India wants to restore the historical and cultural ties with its neighbours in Southeast and East Asia.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

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