Excellency Speaker Dr. Jiko Luveni, Excellency Prime Minister Bainimarama, Members of the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji,

Nisan Bula and Namaste

Two months ago, Fijians voted in extraordinary numbers to elect their Parliament. Six months ago, Indians participated in the largest election in human history.

Today, I stand here, grateful for this special gift – the honour to be among you, to speak to this new Parliament, in celebration of democracy and to reaffirm our friendship.

India is a nation of more than a billion; Fiji a nation of a million.We are located in different oceans. But, what unites today is our democracy, the diversity of our societies, our creed that all human beings are equal, and our commitment to the liberty, dignity and rights of every individual. What also links today is that we have women as Speakers of our two Parliaments!

You have done better than us. One in every seven members in this Parliament is a woman; in India, it is just one in nine. So, I hope we can match you the next time; and, I hope we can both do better in future.

People in Fiji have different histories, ethnicities, languages and religions. But, they stand together as one nation of Fijians, with one voice, one vision and one aspiration. In both nations, we have vested power in our people. Your Constitution begins with "We, the people of Fiji", Ours begins with the same simple words, "We the people of India" And, what a Constitution you have framed! It is a Constitution that only not only guarantees freedoms and rights the citizens, but also to ensure their basic needs and empower them. From the right to life, liberty, dignity, equality and freedom of religion, To the right to education, information, work, health, food and water To the rights of children and the disabled. This is a Constitution that reflects the will of an enlightened nation.

The journey to this milestone had its struggles and setbacks, but the road you have chosen has won you admiration around the world and the support of the people here.

Honorable Members,

Fiji is a shining example of small nations that can successfully pursue great ambitions, Because what makes a nation successful is not its size or its population, but its vision and its values.

Today, Fiji is a nation that has used its economic resources well. You have been a strong voice on behalf of the Pacific Islands and a hub of this region. You led the G 77 with vision and statesmanship. Your soldiers have served with outstanding professionalism in UN Peacekeeping Missions in some of the world`s most dangerous spots. And, you are playing an influential role in shaping the global dialogue on climate change.

There are many in India, who wish Vijay Singh wore the Indian colours on the golf course!

Honorable Members,

For India, Fiji will always have a special place. The tide of history brought many from India to your shores. It has forged our ties of culture and kinship. But, our relationship today stands on a much broader of our shared values and our common interests as developing countries. And, now, together we were partners in making history.

You graciously hosted Indian scientists in Fiji for tracking our Mars Mission, Mangalyaan. It was the only mission in the world to succeed in the first attempt.

I convey today the gratitude of the people and the scientists of India. This simple yet profound act of cooperation reflects the boundless possibilities in our relationship, if we choose to seek them.

Our trade and investment ties have been modest. Our relationship in science, education and culture could be stronger. Yet, there are examples of our partnership that should inspire us – our cooperation in upgrading your sugar mills or the public-private partnership in the area of healthcare.

As we have collaborated in running hospitals here, we can also extend our cooperation in pharmaceuticals and traditional medicines.

As Fiji adjusts to the changing global markets, India is prepared to be your partner – In making your existing industry stronger and finding new opportunities for your youth. For countries like ours, village and small and medium scale industries are the source of enterprise and employment.

Today, I am pleased to announce a grant of 5 million U.S. dollars to strengthen and modernize Fiji`s village, small and medium industries. We will also provide a Line of Credit of 70 million dollars for a co-generation power plant at Rarav Sugar Mill. And, another Line of Credit of 5 million dollars for upgrading the sugar industry in Fiji.

Agriculture supports a majority of the population in India and Fiji. I offer our expertise and assistance in increasing productivity in the agriculture sector. As the largest producer of milk in the world, India can help develop your dairy industry, which can also contribute to your exports. In areas like fisheries, textiles and garments, and gems and jewellery, we can expand trade.

In this digital age, every nation can be part of the global information technology industry. And, it is a dream that youth around the world share. It is an industry that depends on ideas and skills. It offers a great path to prosperity. And, it has a light carbon footprint.

We were pleased to set up a centre of excellence in information technology here in Fiji. We are is prepared to work with you to build a Digitial Fiji and to equip your youth to integrate Fiji into the global IT network.

We will also deepen our cooperation in education and training and we will double the number of our scholarships.

Today, I propose that we work together to harness the potential of Space technology for governance, economic development, conservation, climate change and natural disasters.

We could work to make Fiji the hub for our regional collaboration in Space, just as India has done with ASEAN.

There are times when we think of each other as distant lands, separated by oceans and seven time zones.

But, think of the days when travel was difficult. That did not deter brave people from travelling over the seas in search of a new life. Distance, to me, is irrelevant in a world of fiber optic cables and satellite links. We are only as far away as the click of a mouse or the call button of a phone. In any case, a direct flight today can take you from Fiji to most places in India. And, I say this more to my people than to you.

Fijians have been steady in visiting India. We in India have not paid enough attention to this beautiful land of warm people and immense potential. This must change. We must make travel easier between our two countries. For this reason, I have taken a small step in extending visa on arrival to Fijians in India, as you have done for Indians. And, if you want to attract more Indians to enjoy the magnificence of your islands and the warmth of your hospitality, you should invite Bollywood to shoot their films in Fiji.

Honourable Members of Parliament,

We have spoken of vast opportunities, but we also share many common challenges. For you, climate change is not a matter of debate, but a basic question of existence.

India, too, is a nation of a long coastline and more than 1000 islands, a nation that is nurtured by monsoon rain and the Himalayan glaciers.

We, too, are facing the searing impact of climate change. And, we spend more than 6% of our GDP in adapting to its consequences. Now, each of us must shoulder our own responsibilities. We cannot side aside and take no action. Technology has made it possible.We don`t have to seek old pathways to prosperity.

In India, we have a comprehensive national plan and strategy to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. And, I have a deep personal commitment to it. And, we look forward to working with Fiji in areas such wind and solar energy. But, it is also equally important that the global community accepts its responsibility and implements its commitment. It should not become one in which the strong shift the burden on the others; or impose the responsibilities of their excesses on the choices that others make. It should not be an issue of economic advantage or trade competitive of one over the other.

The world had agreed on a beautiful balance of collective action – common but differentiated responsibilities. That should form the basis of continued action. This also means that the developed countries must fulfil their commitments for funding and technology transfer.

India has stood shoulder to shoulder with Fiji and the Small Islands Developing States is seeking a fair and urgent response from the international community for a sustainable future.

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.

Thank you Vinaka (Thank you). Dhanyawad.

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Swayampurna Goa is the result of new team spirit of Team Goa: PM Modi
October 23, 2021
“Apart from Nature and pleasure, Goa also signifies a new model of development, reflection of collective efforts and solidarity for development from Panchayat to Administration”
“Goa has achieved 100% in all major schemes such as ODF, electricity, piped water, ration to poor”
“ Swayampurna Goa is the result of new team spirit of Team Goa”
“Infrastructure being developed in Goa will also help in increasing the income of farmers, livestock farmers and our fishermen”
“States with tourism focus got special attention in vaccination drive and Goa benefited a great deal by that”

I welcome all the Goans who fulfilled the dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat through Swayampurna Goa. It is truly a delight that the needs of Goans could be met in Goa itself, owing to your tireless efforts.

During interaction with the beneficiaries of Swayampurna (self-sufficient) Goa, we all experienced the change and the self-confidence that follows when there is synergy between the government support and the hard work of the people. Dr. Pramod Sawant ji, the popular and energetic Chief Minister who showed Goa the path of this meaningful change, my senior colleague in the Union Cabinet Shripad Naik ji, Deputy CMs of Goa Shri Manohar Ajgaonkar ji and Shri Chandrakant Kavlekar ji, other ministers of the state government, MPs, MLAs, all representatives of local bodies, Zilla Parishad members, Panchayat members, other public representatives and my dear brothers and sisters of Goa!!

It is said that Goa means pleasure, Goa means nature and Goa means tourism. But today I will also say that Goa means a new model of development. Goa is a reflection of collective efforts. Goa means solidarity for development from panchayat to administration.


Over the years, the country has come out of paucity to make its goal of meeting the needs and aspirations. Top priority has been given to provide those basic facilities to the countrymen who were deprived for decades. This year on 15th August, I had also mentioned from the Red Fort that we now have to take these schemes to the target of saturation i.e. 100 percent. Goa is playing a leading role in achieving these goals under the leadership of Pramod Sawant ji and his team. India set the goal of being free from open defecation. Goa achieved this target 100 percent. The country set a target of providing electricity connection to every household. Goa also achieved it 100 percent. Goa became the first state again in achieving the 100 percent target in Har Ghar Jal Abhiyan! Goa also scored 100 percent as far as free ration to the poor is concerned.


Two days ago, India crossed the huge milestone of giving 100 crore vaccine doses. In this too, Goa has achieved 100 percent as far as the first dose is concerned. Goa is now putting all its efforts to achieve the 100 percent target for the second dose.

Brothers and sisters,

I am happy that Goa is not only successfully implementing but expanding the schemes of the Central Government for the convenience and dignity of women. Goa has done a great job in providing facilities to women, whether it is toilets, Ujjwala gas connections or Jan Dhan bank accounts. It is because of this reason that thousands of sisters got free gas cylinders and money could be deposited in their bank accounts during the Corona lockdown. The Government of Goa has also given a lot of facilities to the sisters by providing tap water to every household. Now the Goa government is working to make the lives of the sisters of Goa even better with schemes like Griha Aadhar and Deen Dayal Social Security.

Brothers and sisters,

The true potential is known when times are tough and there are challenges ahead. In the last one-and-a-half years, Goa not only faced the biggest pandemic of hundred years, but also endured the horrors of severe cyclones and floods. I realize the hardships caused to the tourism sector of Goa. But in the midst of these challenges, the Government of Goa and the Central Government were engaged in providing relief to the people of Goa with double the strength. We did not allow development works to stop in Goa. I would like to congratulate Pramod ji and his entire team for making Swayampurna Goa Abhiyan the basis of Goa's development. In order to accelerate this mission, another important step has been taken and that is 'Sarkar Tumchya Dari' (government at your doorstep).


This is an extension of the pro-people, proactive governance spirit with which the country has been moving forward for the last seven years. Governance where the government itself goes to the citizens and solves their problems! Goa has developed a good model at the village, panchayat and district levels. I have full faith that Goa will be able to achieve the rest of the goals very soon with everyone's efforts just as it has been 100 percent successful in many of the Centre's campaigns so far.


If I talk about Goa and there is no mention of football, it cannot be. Goa's craze for football is exceptional. Whether it is a defence or a forward in the game of football, all goals are (goal) oriented. While somebody has to save a goal and someone has to score a goal. This spirit of achieving their respective goals was never missing in Goa. But the earlier governments lacked a team spirit, to create a positive environment. For a long time, political interests prevailed over good governance in Goa. The political instability also harmed the development of the state. But in the last few years, the sensible people of Goa have converted this instability to stability. Pramod ji's team is sincerely giving new heights to Goa with the belief with which my friend late Manohar Parrikar ji took Goa forward. Today Goa is marching ahead with renewed confidence. The result of this new spirit of Team Goa is the resolve of Swayampurna Goa.

Brothers and sisters,

Goa also has a very rich rural economy and an attractive urban life. Goa also has farms and there are possibilities of development of a blue economy. Goa has everything needed for a self-reliant India. Therefore, the overall development of Goa is a big priority of the double engine government.


The double engine government is paying special attention to the rural, urban and coastal infrastructure of Goa. Be it the second airport in Goa, the construction of a logistics hub, the second largest cable-bridge in India, the construction of a national highway with thousands of crores of rupees, all these projects are going to give new dimensions to the national and international connectivity of Goa.

Brothers and sisters,

The infrastructure being developed in Goa will also help in increasing the income of farmers, herdsmen and our fishermen. This year, Goa's fund has been increased five times as compared to earlier for modernization of its rural infrastructure. The central government has allocated Rs 500 crores to Goa for the development of its rural infrastructure. This will give a new impetus to the ongoing projects related to agriculture and animal husbandry.


The Government of Goa is committed to the Central Government schemes of connecting farmers and fishermen with banks and markets. A large number of small farmers in Goa are either dependent on fruits and vegetables or engaged in the fisheries. Securing easy bank loans for these small farmers, herdsmen and fishermen was a big challenge. Keeping this problem in mind, the Kisan Credit Card scheme has been expanded. While small farmers are being given KCC on mission mode, herdsmen and fishermen are being linked to it for the first time. Hundreds of new Kisan Credit Cards have been issued in Goa in a short span of time and crores of rupees have been given. The farmers of Goa have greatly benefited from the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. Due to such efforts, many new friends are also adopting farming. Within a year, the production of fruits and vegetables in Goa has increased by about 40 percent. Milk production has also increased by more than 20 percent. I am told that the Goa government has made record procurements from farmers this time.


The food processing industry is going to be a major force of the Swayampurna Goa. Goa can become India's strength, especially in fish processing. India has been exporting raw fish for a long time. Indian fish are processed in East Asian countries and then reach the world markets. To change this situation, the fisheries sector is being helped on a large scale for the first time. Incentives are being given at every level, from creation of a separate ministry to modernization of fishermen's boats for fish trade. Our fishermen in Goa are also benefiting under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.


The development of Goa's environment and tourism is directly linked to the development of India. Goa is an important center of India's tourism sector. The share of the tour, travel and hospitality industry is continuously increasing in India's fast growing economy. Naturally, Goa's share in this is also very high. For the last few years, every kind of help is being offered to give impetus to the tourism and hospitality sector. The Visa on Arrival facility has been expanded. In the last few years, the Central Government has given assistance of crores of rupees to Goa for the development of other tourism infrastructure besides connectivity.


Special incentives have been given to the states of the country, including Goa, which are centers of tourism in India's vaccination campaign. Goa has also benefited a lot from this. Goa made round-the-clock efforts to administer the first dose of the vaccines to all the eligible people. Now the country has also crossed the 100 crore vaccine dose mark. This has increased the confidence of the people in the country and the tourists as well. Now that you are gearing up for Diwali, Christmas and New Year, this festive and holiday season will witness a new energy in Goa's tourism sector. The movement of both domestic and foreign tourists to Goa is definitely going to increase. This is a very good sign for the tourism industry of Goa.

Brothers and sisters,

Goa will become self-sufficient only when it will make 100 percent utilization of every such potential of development. Swayampurna Goa is the resolution to realize the aspirations of the common man. Swayampurna Goa is the trust of health, convenience, safety and dignity of mothers, sisters and daughters. In Swayampurna Goa, there are employment and self-employment opportunities for the youth. In Swayampurna Goa, there is a glimpse of Goa's prosperous future. This is not just a program of five months or five years, but it is the first step towards the vision for the next 25 years. Every person of Goa has to mobilize to reach this stage. Goa needs the continuation of the double engine development for this. Goa needs the existing explicit policy, a stable government and an energetic leadership. With the tremendous blessings of the whole of Goa, we will fulfill the resolve of Swayampurna Goa. With the same belief, wishing you all the very best!

Many thanks!