The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today said that India would use the strengths of its democracy and young population for the benefit of mankind. He said the coming age would be the age of knowledge, and India would once again perform the role of "Vishvaguru". In his remarks during an interaction with civil society at Fiji Technical University in Suva today, the Prime Minister said India had a responsibility towards the world at large. 

PM addresses civil society at Fiji University 684 (3)
The Prime Minister said India and Fiji have many shared values, and it is the responsibility of both of them to strengthen those values. Saying that Fiji had chosen the path of democracy to move forward, the Prime Minister said this had set an example that would exert a positive influence in the wider Pacific region as well. 

Noting that the coming age was an age of knowledge and technology, the Prime Minister said it was essential to keep adding to the knowledge base, and to keep up the pace of new discoveries and inventions. He said India was once again ready to play the role of "Vishvaguru," and work towards the benefit of mankind. He said our ancient sages had spoken of India`s global responsibility, and the coming "Gyan Yug" would see India play a pivotal role,using the strengths of its democracy and demographic dividend. He said the Government was giving priority to skill development so that these strengths could be leveraged for the benefit of the whole world. He also talked about ending the digital divide, saying we have to prepare for the future to help the world.

PM addresses civil society at Fiji University 684 (1)

The Prime Minister spoke of the initiatives he had announced earlier today:

-Visa on arrival for Fiji and other Pacific island nations
-A fund of five million US dollars to promote small business and village enterprises in Fiji.
-A line of credit of 70 million US dollars for a co-generation power plant.
-Doubling the scholarships and training slots in India for Fiji.
-Setting up of a Special Adaptation Fund of $ 1 million to provide technical assistance and training for capacity building to Pacific island nations on the issue of global warming. 

PM addresses civil society at Fiji University 684 (2)

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May 08, 2021

At the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting today.

The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders of all the 27 EU Member States as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format. The meeting was the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.

The leaders welcomed the decision to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements. Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both agreements together. This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and the EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience, demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify economic engagement.

India and the EU launched an ambitious and comprehensive ‘Connectivity Partnership’ which is focused on enhancing digital, energy, transport and people-to-people connectivity. The Partnership is based on the shared principles of social, economic, fiscal, climate and environmental sustainability, and respect for international law and commitments. The Partnership will catalyse private and public financing for connectivity projects. It will also foster new synergies for supporting connectivity initiatives in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific.

India and the EU leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to strengthen joint efforts for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as providing means of implementation including finance in the context of COP26. India welcomed the EU’s decision to join CDRI.

India and the EU also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on digital and emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Quantum and High-Performance Computing including through the early operationalization of the Joint Task Force on AI and the Digital Investment Forum.

The leaders noted with satisfaction the growing convergences on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity and maritime cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and agreed to closely engage in the region, including in the context of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative and the EU’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific.

Coinciding with the Leaders’ Meeting, an India-EU Business Roundtable was organised to highlight the avenues for cooperation in climate, digital and healthcare. A finance contract of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail Project was signed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and European Investment Bank.

India-EU Leaders Meeting has set a significant milestone by providing a new direction to the Strategic Partnership and giving a fresh impetus for implementing the ambitious India-EU Roadmap 2025 adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020.