FIJI NEWS

Govt Commends India’s Envoy

The Fijian Government has farewelled the Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, Vinod Kumar, who returns home next month. This is after serving in Fiji for three years and nine months.
30 Jul 2014 10:20

The Fijian Government has farewelled the Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, Vinod Kumar, who returns home next month.
This is after serving in Fiji for three years and nine months.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, at a farewell reception held this week for the High Commissioner at Borron House, said while it was a sad event losing a ‘dear friend’ it was also a day to celebrate his remarkable achievements in the short time he had been here in Fiji.
The Minister highlighted the close and friendly relations that the two countries had enjoyed over the years.
“We have fruitful co-operation in multilateral fora including at the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, and other organisations. On multilateral issues such as trade, climate change, sustainable development, we have been working together closely,” Ratu Inoke said.
He spoke of India’s assistance towards the relief efforts for Cyclone Evan.
Ratu Inoke underscored the increase in people-to-people interaction and exchanges in recent years evidenced by the numerous high level visits, scholarships, training programmes and the many direct links established with the relevant ministries.
Between 2013 and 2014, India offered 80 slots for Fiji and 25 slots for five other Pacific island nations for further training opportunities. Ministries and departments from the Fijian Government and other Pacific nations, agencies and non-governmental organisations are benefiting by sending their officials for training in India.
Ratu Inoke commended the Indian government for the solar electrification training that rural women from Fiji and other Pacific island countries had undergone at the Barefoot College, under the ITEC Programme.
Apart from that, India and Fiji’s co-operation includes training for defence personnel in prestigious institutions such as the National Defence College, Defence Services Staff College. In 2013-14, 30 defence training slots were used by Fiji and 10 by Tonga.
“We have worked closely to strengthen ties between our two countries in other areas of education, sugar, agriculture, trade, renewable energy, science and technology and very importantly in health services,” the Foreign Minister said.
The Minister pointed out that during Mr Kumar’s tenure, negotiations on the India-Fiji Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement were completed in Suva in October 2011.
“We have witnessed significant increase in interest from Bollywood after the success of movies such as 3G and Table No. 21,” he added.
“And this is just a fraction of the ideas that my dear friend has been initiating around Fiji and the Pacific region,” said Ratu Inoke during the farewell, which was attended by some members of Cabinet and members of the diplomatic corp.
“He has maintained the high standards we always see amongst our diplomatic circles and he has managed to bring in elements of creativity in his role as High Commissioner,” Ratu Inoke said.
Mr Kumar said he believed there was a lot more that the two countries could work on to deepen relations.
He thanked the Government for facilitating him during his tenure and said that he realised the bond the two countries shared was very deep. Minfo News
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