(SIG/GCU Release): The Republic of India’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency, Mr Vijai Kumar has presented his Credentials to the Governor General, His Excellency, Sir Dr Frank Ofagioro Kabui at Government House today.
The ceremony has formalized Mr Kumar’s appointment as High Commissioner to Solomon Islands who looks forward to further enhance relations between the two countries and the wider Pacific region.
Mr Kumar said India attaches high priority to its relation with Solomon Islands as part of India’s Act East Policy which focuses primarily on consolidating relations with all Pacific Island countries, including Solomon Islands, which is a valued partner in the Pacific Islands for India.
According to Mr Kumar, India is seeking engagements in supporting planning, managerial skills and implementation expertise, technological advancement as well as assisting Solomon Islands in human resource development and capacity building.
Every year, India allocates 5 training slots under ‘Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme’. These training programmes are fully funded by India, including return airfares.
The Indian Government hoped that Solomon Islands would continue to utilize the ITEC slots allotted, especially in the field of IT, Agriculture, Rural development and training in Customs and Solar energy.
India’s annual Grant-in-Aid of US$200,000 to Solomon Islands has not been utilized for a few years and has accumulated both Governments need to finalize proposals to utilise the Grant-in-Aid.
Meanwhile, the Governor General, Sir Dr Frank Ofagioro Kabui has accepted Mr Kumar’s letter of credence and welcomed his accreditation to Solomon Islands as recognition of the importance of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries which was established 32 years ago.
Sir Dr Frank said the Republic of India is a huge country as well as its economy and there is much Solomon Islands can learn from in terms of its technological expertise and industries as well as its human resource and capacity to contribute to the development of the rest of the world.
“We do appreciate your efforts and co-operation shown so far in the areas of assistance being offered to us and your commitment to future dialogue which we sincerely appreciate,” Sir Dr Frank said.
Sir Dr Frank assured the Indian High Commissioner that the Solomon Islands Government is prepared to support him in executing his duty during his term in office and wish him well in his appointment.