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

Mains level: Large Ocean Countries


Central Idea: The third summit of Forum for India Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) was recently held at Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. It was attended by PM Modi.

What is FIPIC?

  • The FIPIC is an intergovernmental forum that facilitates cooperation and dialogue between India and the Pacific island countries (PIC).
  • It was established by India in 2014 as a platform to enhance engagement and strengthen ties with the countries of the Pacific region.
  • FIPIC serves as a mechanism for mutual collaboration, addressing shared challenges, and promoting development cooperation between India and its Pacific island partners.

Members of FIPIC:

  • FIPIC consists of 14 member-countries.
  • They are- Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

History of FIPIC

  • The establishment of FIPIC reflects India’s commitment to deepening its engagement with the Pacific island nations.
  • The inaugural FIPIC summit was held in November 2014 in Suva, Fiji, where India and the Pacific island countries came together to discuss bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
  • The summit marked a significant milestone in India’s efforts to strengthen relations with the Pacific island states and promote inclusive development in the region.

Key highlights of the Summit

(1) Imbibing perception change

  • During the FIPIC-3 summit held in Port Moresby, PM Modi emphasized the importance of recognizing the small island nations of the Pacific Ocean as “large ocean states.”
  • PM reiterated India’s commitment to supporting the development goals of the Pacific island states.

(2) Advancing development goals

  • India expressed unwavering dedication to supporting Pacific island states in various ways.
  • Acknowledged challenges such as climate change, natural calamities, and disruptions in food and fuel supply chains.
  • India has been a reliable supplier of essential items, including vaccines, medicines, wheat, and sugar.

(3) Voices to lead Global South

  • Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea urged India to serve as an advocate for the Global South.
  • Requested India’s representation in key global forums like the G-7 and G-20.

Why does India need PIC?

  • Geopolitical Significance: Strengthening ties in Indo-Pacific to bolster regional influence, promote stability, and shape regional dynamics.
  • Maritime Trade Routes: Securing access to vital sea-lanes, ensuring smooth trade flow, and protecting maritime interests.
  • Resources: Expanding access to valuable resources such as minerals, hydrocarbons, and fisheries for economic growth and energy security.
  • Economic Opportunities: Exploring untapped markets, attracting investments, and fostering trade partnerships for mutual economic benefits.
  • Climate Change and Disaster Management: Collaborating on climate resilience strategies, sharing expertise in disaster management, and supporting sustainable development.
  • Diplomatic Relations: Establishing strategic alliances, enhancing multilateral cooperation, and strengthening India’s presence in the Pacific region.
  • Indian Diaspora: Supporting and engaging with the Indian diaspora, promoting cultural ties, and leveraging their contributions for bilateral cooperation and understanding.


  • The FIPIC-3 summit provided a platform for India and Pacific island nations to deepen cooperation and address shared challenges.
  • India’s commitment to supporting development goals and its role as a reliable supplier underscores its dedication to the Pacific island states.
  • India’s active engagement in global forums and advocacy for the Global South aims to amplify voices and advance interests.
  • The summit signifies a strengthened partnership, fostering mutual growth and shared progress.


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