An Independent Nation Papua New Guinea with a population of approx. 17 Million and 851 indigenous languages majorly depend on Agriculture. Coffee remains the most exported crop from this nation. James Marape is the present prime minister of this 4,62,840 square kilometre land.
The country which achieved its Independence from Australia 47 years back on 16th September 1975 is facing difficulty in developing even after possessing rich natural resources. The rugged terrain combined with insufficient investment by governments in education, health and access to finance has deprived the country’s potential.
The small nation also had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic like the world. With no proper health system in place, the population of this country were vulnerable to infections and deaths. India then came forward to support it with necessary vaccines and medical aid. Nearly 6,00,000 doses of Indian-made vaccine were sent to Papua New Guinea. That was like Sanjeevini to the people of this nation.
Having sufficiently immunized with vaccines it got from India, the UN and others it is now on recovery. People are safe now, and ready to work. But, it needs the support of Big power like India to become economically Independent. China with debt trap policy is not welcomed by many countries. After seeing Srilanka and Pakistan’s economic crisis small nations are now aware of the debt trap of China and shutting doors for the Chinese.
India is not interested in the geopolitics of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific but wants to be a credible economic partner and friend in need. Forum for India-Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC) works in the direction of assisting growth. 2 editions of the meeting, one in 2014 and the second one in 2015 were aimed to increase trade, which now stands at 300 million dollars.
But, for 8 years since 2015, there was no meeting because Papua New Guinea’s leadership was switching loyalty, thus wasting time in developing its nation. The 3rd FIPIC meeting is now being held in Papua New Guinea on 22nd May and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has landed in the country to attend it.
The leadership of Papua New Guinea made the right moves in receiving the Prime Minister, respecting him and welcoming the accolades it showered on the PM representing a strong nation. However, the real test is on 22nd May when Prime Minister James Marape meets the world’s most popular and strongest leader for a business meeting.