About Us India - Fiji

High Commission of India
Suva
***
India – Fiji Bilateral Relations

Historical Perspective: India’s links with Fiji commenced in 1879 when Indian labourers were brought here by the British under indenture system to work on sugarcane plantations. Between 1879 and 1916 around 60,553 Indians were brought to Fiji in 87 ships. Beginning with early 20th century, Indian traders and others also started arriving in Fiji. In 1920, the indenture system was abolished.

Prior to Fiji’s independence in 1970, India had a Commissioner since 1948 to look after the interests of people of Indian origin. It was later upgraded to High Commissioner after Fiji’s independence in 1970. Fiji’s Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara visited India in1971 and Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi visited Fiji in September 1981.

Following political developments in Fiji, the High Commission of India and Indian Cultural Centre were closed in May 1990. The High Commission of India was subsequently reopened in March 1999 and the Indian Cultural Centre in February 2005.  Fiji established its High Commission in New Delhi in January 2004.

Political Relations: India-Fiji relations are continuously strengthening, particularly after the visit of Hon'ble Prime Minister of India to Fiji in November 2014, when the First Meeting of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC-I)” was also held. Fijian Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama participated in 2nd Summit of FIPIC (FIPIC-II) at Jaipur in August 2015. Fijian PM Bainimarama visited India on 19-21 May 2016 during his stopover, on his way to the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey, and had meeting with Indian Prime Minister. Fijian PM also participated in the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) held at New Delhi in March 2018.

Foreign Office Consultations (FOC): The third round of India–Fiji FOC was held on 21 February 2017 at New Delhi. Ambassador Mrs. Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) led the Indian delegation, while Ambassador Robin Nair, the then Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs led the Fijian side to review all ongoing bilateral/multilateral cooperation activities.

Ministerial Visits:

  • Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Rosy Akbar participated in Raisina Dialogue in January 2017.
  • Minister of Defence and National Security, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, visited India for signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for strengthening defence and security ties including in defence production and military training on 28-30 May 2017.
  • Fijian Attorney General and Minister of Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service, Communication and Education Hon. Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum visited New Delhi to attend the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) from 15-17 February 2018.  During the visit, Attorney General also had fruitful discussions on bilateral matters with Hon'ble Minister of Railways of India, Shri Piyush Goyal. Consequent to the discussions held during the visit, a three-member experts' team from Rail India Technical and Economic Service Limited(RITES) Limited visited Fiji on 27 February to 2 March 2018 to review the Fijian railway link with the aim for up-gradation of the same. Based on the report of this team, Fiji has requested for assistance of US$ 975,800 for preparation of Detailed Project Report by RITES. The Fijian Government has not yet decided for the LoC.  The matter eventually rested with the Ministry and the proposal did not get revived.
  • Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Hon'ble Minister of State for Human Resource Development (MOSHRD) visited Fiji on 19-24 February 2018 to attend the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers. On the sidelines of the Conference, MOSHRD also met the Prime Minister of Fiji on 20 February 2018 at Nadi and had fruitful discussions on bilateral cooperation.
  • Mr.Kiren Rijiju, Hon. Minister of State for Home Affairs visited Fiji on 15-16 January 2019 for the constitution and inaugural session of the first-ever Town Official Language Implementation Committee (TOLIC) outside India which was held in Suva.   During the visit, Hon. Minister also called on Prime Minister of Fiji as a courtesy call. Hon. Minister also visited Rama Krishna Mission’s Meditation Centre and Vivekananda College in Nadi and held a meeting with the TOLIC officials along with Indian community.
  • Fijian Minister of Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy visited India to attend UN Convention to Combat Desertification held on 9-10 September 2019.  During his visit, he also had fruitful bilateral discussions with Hon'ble Minister, Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation on 11 September 2019.
  • Fiji delegation led by Hon. Jone Usamate, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management & Meteorological Services attended the 2nd General Assembly of ISA in New Delhi from 30 October to 2 November 2019.
  • Mrs. Veena Bhatnagar, Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and Deputy Speaker of Parliament of Fiji visited India (Ayodhya) for Deepotsav 2019 on 26 October 2019.  She was invited as the Chief Guest on the occasion by the Government of State of Utter Pradesh.  She came to Delhi after the Deepotsav ceremony and visited Parliament and held a courtesy meeting with the MOS (VM).

PM Modi’s visit and Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC)-I

Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, visited Fiji on 19 November 2014. During the visit, three MoUs were signed with Fiji:

(i) MoU for Extending a US$ 70mn Line of Credit for Establishing a Co-Generation Plant in Fiji (which now has been restructured to US$45 for revival of three sugar factories and US$ 25mn for Upgradation of Fijian rail-link on Fijian request)

(ii) MoU on Cooperation in the field of training of diplomats, and

(iii) MoU on the Earmarking of Land for their Diplomatic Missions in the respective Capitals.
The First Summit of Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC-I) was held in Fiji during the visit with the participation of 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs).

Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC)-II: Fijian delegation led by PM Bainimarama, visited India to attend 2nd Summit of Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC-II) held at Jaipur on 21 August 2015.

Solar Electrification of 2800 houses in 14 Pacific Islands Countries, 200 houses in each country (Announced by PM During FIPIC-II in 2015): The project of ‘Solar Electrification of 2800 houses in 14 Pacific Islands Countries’ was announced by Hon’ble PM in Second Summit of ‘Forum for India Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC-II)’ held at Jaipur in August 2015.  JS(South), Ministry of External Affairs, on behalf of the President of India signed an agreement on 25 May 2016 with Barefoot college for implementation of this project with an estimated cost of US$ 1.5mn. Under this project, Government of India, provided 6-month long training to 70 solar mamas at Barefoot College, Rajasthan.

Under the first phase of this Project, 43 solar mamas were given one-month refresher training considering the design changes etc. at the Centre for Appropriate Technologies and Development (CATD), Nadave, Fiji in August-September 2016.  In the second stage, training of remaining 27 Solar mamas of total 70 Solar mamas was completed in September 2017.

The second phase consists of providing equipment for ‘solar electrification of 200 houses each in 14 Pacific Island countries’ (for 7 countries under the jurisdiction of this Mission), to be supplied by barefoot college and then assembled in the respective countries. According to Barefoot college, the equipment was scheduled to reach the countries by March 2021 but delivery has been delayed due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. In Fiji, installation of 83 systems across 3 villages in the north of Viti Levu has started already.

India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference (IPI-SDC): Under the umbrella of Forum for India Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC),Government of India organized the “India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference (IPI-SDC)”, which was held at Suva, Fiji on 25-26 May 2017. Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. (Dr.) V.K.Singh (Retd.) hosted the event. The Conference saw the participation of several high profile leaders from the 14 PICs. Notable outcome of the conference included the following:

  • India signed MoUs for setting up of Centers of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) with Fiji, Cook Islands, Nauru, Samoa and Niue.
  • India and Fiji also signed three MOUs for ‘Co-operation in Youth Development’, ‘Cooperation between Broadcasting Agencies’ and ‘Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy’.
  • Prasar Bharati of India also gifted programmatic content on India for telecast to all the Pacific Island Countries.
  • India announced assistance of US$ 1mn for Fiji’s COP23 Presidency Trust Fund and handed over the same on 19 June 2017.

Visits to and from India: Details for visits for the last five years could be seen at Annexure-A.

Cooperation at International Forums: Recently Fiji supported Indian candidatures at various international forums:

  • Mr. Aniruddha Rajput, advocate, Supreme Court of India to the International Law Commission in November 2016.
  • Indian candidature of Dr Neeru Chadha to International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas (ITLOS) in June 2017
  • Fiji signed and ratified Framework Agreement for International Solar Agreement (ISA). It has become a founder member of the ISA by depositing the Instrument of Ratification at New Delhi on 25September 2017.
  • The re-election of Dr Dalveer Bhandari for International Court of Justice (ICJ) in November 2017.
  • Indian candidature to the Executive Board of UNESCO in November 2017.
  • Indian Candidature to International Maritime Organization (IMO) in November 2017. 
  • Indian candidature to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in October 2018.
  • India's candidature for World Custom Organization in June 2019.
  • India's candidature in UNSC in June 2020
  • India’s candidature to Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions in October 2020 

Interaction with Pacific Islands Developing States (PSIDS): Hon'ble Prime Minister held a historic interaction with Pacific Islands Developing States (PSIDS) Leaders on 24 September 2019 on the sidelines of the 74th UNGA.  PM Bainimarama also attended the same.  Hon. PM inter alia announced US$ 1 million grant to each country for projects of their choice and concessional Line of Credit of US$150 million for projects aimed at solar, renewable energy and climate related projects.  Other announcements included visit of parliamentarians to India, support to capacity building including special training of diplomats, deputation of technical experts to provide training and offer to organise specialised courses also under ITEC programme in priority areas identified by partner countries.

Indian Assistance

In the past, GOI provided funds for 05 cars for Fiji Police; 500 sewing Machines; 05 Ambulances for hospitals; 134 Water Tanks for primary and higher secondary schools; Mobile Library Vehicle for Suva City Carnegie Mobile Library; 4x4 Double Cab for Rarawai & Penang Cane Producers’ Association; Up-gradation of a road in Kieuva near Suva; Equipment & books for TISI Sangam college of Nursing & Health Care Education in Labasa; A total of US$ 100,000/- in February 2009 after Cyclone Tomas in March 2010.

GOI provided assistance for the following:

  • US$ 200,000 in July 2012 following floods in January and March 2012,
  • US$ 100,000 in 2013 after cyclone Evan.

In January 2014 grant was also provided for purchase of medicines from India at a total

  • cost of Rs.10 lakhs.
  • India supplied indelible ink and five Mahindra Genio and five Mahindra Scorpio vehicles to Fiji Elections Office in 2014.
  • In September 2015, 300 Sewing Machines were given to Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation for economic empowerment of rural women.
  • 5000 Akash Tablets were donated in September 2015, to Ministry of Education to complement Government of Fiji’s policy of one device per child.
  • 800 medical diagnostic kits were donated to Ministry for Health and Medical Services kits for Primary Health care facilities in February 2016.
  • In June 2016, India donated two Mahindra tractors and two units of Mahindra Scorpio Double cab to Fijian Ministry of Agriculture.
  • India also contributed, in July 2016, US$ 250,000 (FJ$515,037.50) to the President elect of the UN General Assembly, Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji.
  • US$ 1.3 million were donated to Fiji for repair of 20 schools in February 2017.
  • Funding of Rs. 15,48,100 for visit of Fijian National Security and Defence Review Team to India on 24-26 October 2016 – US$22,867/-.
  • Funding of Rs.19,19,850 for visit (training) of Fijian National Security and Defence Review Team to India on 07-29 July 2017 – US$29,595/-.
  • Procurement of 4-wheel Drive Twin Cab (Mahindra Scorpio) for Nasinu Town Council – US$25,941/-.
  • Financial assistance FJ$ 6000/-for construction of a toilet and bathroom in community hall in the village of Nadakuni in Naitasiri Province in December 2020.
  • Funding of a sum of FJD 39,602/- to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism & Transport for construction of two roadside stalls on the sides of highways of Fiji.

Solarisation of Head of State Residences: A regional Solarisation Project to improve resilience in the Pacific was singed on 1 June 2020 in Suva between United Nations Resident Coordinator and Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).  The two-year project, costing US$1.31 mn has been largely funded by Government of India – US$ 400,000 from UN Development Partnership Fund and US$700,000 from India-UN Development Partnership Fund Commonwealth Window.  Under the project, Photovoltaic (PV) systems will be installed on buildings of national significance, such as the executive administrative residence of 11 countries (Fiji, Federated States Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Solomon Isands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu).

Assistance & LOC to Fijian Sugar Industry

i)  LOC of USD 50.40 million for Restructuring the sugar industry in Fiji:  The LoC Agreement of US $ 50.40 million was signed with the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) on 7 November 2005 and the Agreement was made effective on 12 January 2006. Under this LoC, total 16 contracts for supply of various equipment and services cumulatively valued at US $ 50.33 million were approved. Total disbursements made under the LOC amount to US $ 48.73 million.
ii) LOC of USD 5.38 Million for Up gradation of sugar industry in Fiji: The LOC Agreement was signed on February 4, 2015 and the Agreement was made effective on October 05, 2015. Under the LOC a total of 6 contracts aggregating USD 2.53 million have been covered, out of which 4 contracts [Including the PMC] aggregating USD 2.31 million have been completed. One contract of USD 2.46 million awarded to S.S. Engineers has been terminated by FSC.
iii) LOC of USD 70.00 Million for financing [i] Upgradation of sugar factories at Lautoka, Labasa and Rarawai at a cost of USD 45 million and [ii] Upgradation of Railway Network of FSC at a cost of USD 25 million: The LoC Agreement was signed between EXIM Bank and Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) on February 4, 2015. However, the LoC could not be made effective as FSC did not submit the documents for making the LoC Agreement effective. In view of this, the LOC has been annulled by GoI.
(iv) India provided a grant of US$ 1.06 mn to the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) for purchase of 05 Tata Lorries, 05 Mechanical Cane Planters, and 05 Mahindra Tractors along with several agricultural related equipment from India in December 2017.
(v) Ten senior engineers of the FSC completed 30 weeks training (10 weeks each year since 2015) at Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI), Pune, Maharashtra in January 2018.

SME Sector assistance

Hon'ble Prime Minister of India during his visit to Fiji in November 2014 had announced the grant of US$5 million. US$2.8 million was granted and has been disbursed fully to the Government of Fiji in phased manner.

Assistance to Fijian Election Office (FEO)

  • On 26 February 2018, High Commissioner handed over a cheque of FJ$ 67,830/- (eq. US$ 33,915) to the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Yogesh Karan, for 01 Mahindra SUV for the Fijian Election Office.
  • On 24 July 2018, India donated 04 Mahindra SUVs costing FJ$2,24,000 (eq. US$ 112,000) to (FEO) as further assistance from India to Fiji in organizing the General Elections held in 2018. This assistance was in addition to the 6000 bottles of indelible ink (worth US$ 122,340) to the FEO for use during General Elections.

Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief Support to Fiji

 Assistance provided after Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston struck Fiji on 20 February 2016

  • India donated US$ 1mn to Fijian PM’s relief fund.
  • Supplied US$ 3 million worth relief material after TC Winston.
  • Indian Naval Ship Sumitra visited Fiji in October 2016 and five tons of vegetable seeds, worth FJ$ 2.3mn (US$ 1.2mn) carried by INS Sumitra, were handed over to Minister of Agriculture, Government of Fiji.

Indian assistance after Tropical Cyclone (TC) Yasa
Fiji was hit by a Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa on December 17-18, 2020, which caused extensive damage and destruction of critical infrastructure. Responding to the appeal of the Government of Fiji seeking humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of STC Yasa, a consignment of 6 tons of relief materials consisting of 1000 sleeping mats and dignity kits airlifted from India for the cyclone-affected people, reached Fiji in the first week of January, 2021. The consignment of relief materials highlights India’s commitment to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) support to Fiji as a first responder.

Air Sector Cooperation: Attorney-General and Minister of Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum visited New Delhi and signed Air Services Agreement with Indian Civil Aviation Minister on 8 March 2017. Fiji Airways also signed Code-Share Agreement with former Indian airlines Jet Airways in March 2017. After the closure of Jet Airways in April 2019, Fiji Airways entered into code sharing arrangement with Air India.  MEA (ED Division) informed vide its Note Verbale dated 24 May 2021 that TATA SIA Airlines Ltd. (Vistara) has been designated as Indian scheduled carrier to operate on agreed services between India and Fiji.  The Fijian MFA was informed of this vide our Note Verbale of 25 May 2021 and to onward convey the same to the Civil Aviation authorities of Fiji. 

Climate Disaster Risk Insurance Project:  During PM’s interaction with the leaders of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) at New York in September 2019, PM had announced US $1 mn for each country for projects in the area of their choice. Government of India approved funding of US$850,000 for Fiji’s project proposalDeveloping Climate Disaster Risk Financing Framework and Parametric Insurance” on 19 May 2020.The assistance has been provided through the ‘India-UN Development Partnership Fund’. The Project aims to alleviate economic damage caused by climate and extreme weather events through financing instruments for Fijians. The initiative, led by the Climate Change and International Cooperation Division of the Fiji Ministry of Economy, will be jointly implemented by the United Nations Capital Development Programme (UNCDF), together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations University (UNU)-managed Munich Climate Insurance initiative (MCII).

Acting High Commissioner attended the virtual (Kainaki II to COP 26) High-Level Roundtable on Urgent Climate Change Action with Forum Leaders on 11 December 2020on behalf of Government of India as per the directions of the Ministry.  The roundtable was attended with a listening brief only, as only Ministers were permitted to make statements. The Kainaki II Declaration was issued by Forum Leaders at Tuvalu Summit. The UNFCCC COP-26 has been deferred for November 2021, the Rountable was held to highlight the urgency of Climate Change issues and the need to address them at the earliest. 

Fiji affirms commitment to building resilient infrastructure: Efforts to strengthen disaster and climate resilience by pursuing resilient infrastructure development. ICDRI 2021 was inaugurated on 17 March, 2021 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Boris Johnson; Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi also participated in the inaugural session along with Fijian Prime Minister Bainimarama. While delivering his statement at the Inaugural Session, Mr Bainimarama spoke on the impact of the climate crisis on Fiji’s infrastructure development and the progressive actions taken by Fiji to build back better. Reflecting on the importance of global solidarity, he thanked Prime Minister Modi, for India’s leadership to ensure nations recover together from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Covishield (AstraZeneca) vaccines for Fiji: A consignment of 100,000 doses of Made in India Covishield (AstraZeneca) vaccines was handed over to Honourable Prime Minister Bainimarama at the Nadi International Airport on 29 March 2021 by Acting High Commissioner. Also present at the ceremony were Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Ifereimi Waqainabete, Permanent Secretary for Office of the Prime Minister, Sugar Industry, Mr. Yogesh Karan, Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Mr. James Fong, Commissioner West, Mr. Mesake Ledua and other senior government officials.  These vaccines have been supplied by GOI through grant assistance as a special gesture of friendship and solidarity with the people of Fiji. This is in keeping with India’s stated commitment to use India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity to help partner countries in the fight against COVID pandemic.

Cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors between India and Fiji - A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors between India and Fiji was signed on 22 June 2021 during a virtual event organized by Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the Republic of Fiji.  From the Indian side, the MoU was signed by Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon. Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and from the Fijian side by Hon Dr. Mahendra Reddy, Minister of Agriculture, Waterways and Environment. The objective of this MoU is to establish cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors including but not limited to development of industries related with Dairy, Rice, Coconut, Food Processing and Horticulture, Root crop diversification, Water Resources Management, Agriculture Mechanization.  It is also aimed at promoting capacity building in all areas of agriculture through a number of initiatives including exchange of scientists, research personnel and technical trainees as well as development of infrastructure for agriculture. The scope of this MoU also covers avenues for promotion of joint ventures between private sectors of both countries, promotion of investment in marketing and value addition of agricultural commodities to create opportunities for direct trade of agriculture products through market access. The MoU also provides for establishment of Indo-Fiji Working Group for dealing with phytosanitary issues, and any other form of cooperation.

Establishment of Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Research Institute (SCORI) at Fiji: During the 2nd Summit of FIPIC held at Jaipur on 21 August 2015, it was announced that India would assist in establishing an "Institute for Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Research" in the Pacific region and a network of Marine Biology Research Stations in various island nations. In this connection, a scoping mission by an Indian delegation from the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) & National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) visited Fiji during July 2019 and submitted a report to the Ministry for the establishment of SCORI at USP in Fiji. A consultative meeting moderated by MoES was organized on 13th May 2021. It was felt that a framework for common understanding on the exchange of various resources such as manpower, finance, lab equipment, and execution plans was required, for which an MoU must be instituted. The MEA stated that the MoU must be tailored to the current constraints. SCORI should benefit all PICs, and the MoU should include provisions for SCORI's long-term viability. NCCR will prepare the draft MoU for MEA’s consideration.

Training:Under our flagship capacity building and human resource development programme “Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation – ITEC” (Following our PM’s announcement during his visit to Fiji in 2014, annual ITEC slots had been increased from 55 to 110, which were further increased to 170 for 2015-16), the details of utilization ITEC slots are as follows:

  • In 2015-16, Fiji utilized 135 slots out of 170 and under TCS Colombo plan, 17 out of 30 slots were utilized by Fiji.
  • In 2016-17, 87 slots were utilized out of 170 and 13 Defence slots (31 offered) were utilized; TCS Colombo Plan 7 slots (35 offered) utilized.
  • In 2017-18, 70 slots were utilized out of 125 ITEC slots and 07 Colombo Plan Slots.
  • In 2018-19 , 75 slots were utilized and in 2019-20, 50 slots have been utilized by Fiji.

In the last two years, 75 slots in 2018-19 and 50 slots in 2019-20 have been utilized by Fiji.

Fiji was offered one slot each for 2017-18 and 2018-19 for three years training at National Defence College (NDC). 

One Fijian diplomat attended Professional Course for Foreign Diplomats (PCFD) in July-August 2016. Two Defence Ministry officials got training with our National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) in July 2017.  One Fijian Defence Ministry official Ms. Eileen Pickring (as per the special request from Fijian side) had undergone 64th PCFD Course at New Delhi in September-October 2017.

Additional Slots are also available for training of Defence personnel. Two Defence Ministry officials got training with our National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) in July 2017.Fiji was offered one slot each for 2017-18 and 2018-19 for three years training at National Defence College (NDC).

There are also 30 scholarships available annually for Fijian citizens under the General Scholarship scheme (GSS) to pursue higher education in India under Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) Scholarship programme.

Mahatma Gandhi-Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (MG-CEIT): Government of India and Government of Republic of Fiji signed an MoU for setting up of Mahatma Gandhi Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (MG-CEIT) on 24.05.2017 during the India Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference (IP-SDC) at Suva, Fiji.  As per MoU CDAC was nominated by GoI for implementation of the project and Fiji nominated Fiji National University (FNU) as the implementing Agency in Suva.  6 Master trainers have already completed their 6 months training program at CDAC in Pune.   CDAC had also deputed two IT professionals, one as Centre Head and second as trainer at MG-CEIT for the period of two years.  Both of them have returned to India after completion of their assignment. The Project Monitoring Team led by Dr. Devyani Khobragade, JS (DPA-II) visited Fiji from 19-20 December 2020.

Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) / Pravasi Bhartiya Samman (PBS): Fiji's leading NGO, Sai Prema Foundation Fiji, has been awarded the prestigious "Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2021" by the President of India. The Foundation was duly recognised for its "Outstanding Community Service" and was one of the only four organisations bestowed with the award globally. Other PBS awardees from Fiji are: (i) Mr. Mahendra Chaudhry, former PM (2004); (ii) Golfer Mr. Vijay Singh (2005); (iii) Late Sir Moti Tika Ram, former Supreme Court Judge (2007), (iv) Mr. Y.P. Reddy, Reddy Group Chairman and Chairman, (v) Girmit Council (2010), (vii) RamKrishna Mission (2014) (viii) Mr Vinod Patel, businessman got award for social service in (2017).

Education sector:Under the General Scholarship Scheme of ICCR, Fiji & Tuvalu utilized 13 scholarship slots out of 29 offered in 2015-16; 10 slots out of 35 offered in 2016-17; 9 slots out of 35 offered in 2017-18; 10 slots out of 35 offered in 2018-19; 10 slots out of 35 offered in 2019 – 20. Other Scholarships: Non-country specific scholarships are also offered for Diaspora Children: Certificate/Diploma Course in Hindi conducted by Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, New Delhi & Agra and AYUSH scholarship scheme in traditional medicine, One hundred slots of Global ICCR Scholarships in Music & Dance. One student from Fiji availed of AYUSH scholarship for the first time in 2012. Assistance worth Rs. 26 Lakhs (US$ 40,000) was provided to University of South Pacific (USP) in 2016 and another Rs. 26 Lakhs was provided in 2019 for continuation of Hindi studies programme in the University. One student from Fiji joined Masters in Ayurveda under AYUSH scholarship in November 2018. One student from Fiji was granted admission in Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, New Delhi in 2019-20.

Healthcare
Sahyadri: An Agreement between the Sahyadri Group of Hospitals, Pune and Ministry of Health, Government of Fiji was signed in July 2012 to provide tertiary health care facilities in Fiji (valid for five years). The contract concluded on 16 September 2017. Team of specialist doctors from India used to come every quarter and carry out health screening camps and conduct ‘heart and other surgeries’ in Fiji. Several Fijian patients travel to India for medical treatment in super specialty hospitals (like Apollo, Forties, BLK, Devyani Hospitals etc.). Apollo Hospitals in April 2013 signed an MoU with the Fiji National University (FNU), for cooperation in training and capacity building and organizing a telemedicine/mobile-health programme. Apollo-Fiji Health Forum was held at Suva on 21 April 2017. Apollo Hospitals started tele-medicine hub at Suva in August 2018.

Commercial and Economic Relations

Bilateral Trade:

Year

Fiji’s Export
(US$ Millions)

Fijian Import
(US$ Millions)

Trade Imbalance
(US$ Millions)

2011-2012

2.51

36.78

34.27

2012-2013

1.38

41.01

39.63

2013-2014

2.0

48.74

46.74

2014-2015

1.8

49.75

47.95

2015-2016

0.37

44.15

43.78

2016-2017

0.60

52.70

52.10

2017-2018

0.49

54.24

53.75

2018-2019

0.71

60.80

60.09

2019-2020

0.57

55.70

55.13

2020-2021

1.33

46.90

45.57

(Source: Department of Commerce, Government of India)

Banking: MoU on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information between the Reserve Bank of India and the Reserve Bank of Fiji was signed in March 2013.

Tourism: India participated in the Hibiscus Festival of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The Festival is held in August every year in Suva.  In 2019 and 2020, the Festival did not take place.

Consular: The number of Indians living in Fiji is about 1400, mostly engaged in services like IT, management, finance, banking, educational, medical, hotel industry etc.

Cultural Relations: An Indian Cultural Centre- Swami Vivekanand Cultural Center (SVCC) in Fiji was established by GOI in 1972 (which was then the first ever such centre abroad). SVCC provides classes in seven streams: Indian classical music (Carnatic, Tabla, Harmonium) and dance (Bharatnatyam, Kathak), Hindi language and Yoga. SVCC organizes cultural evenings, exhibitions, film shows, workshops and discussions regularly. Some of the notable highlights of cultural activities that have taken place in Fiji in the last couple of years is given below.

  • 19 Fijians of Indian descent participated in World Hindi Conference at Bhopal in September 2015.
  • A filmmaker from India shot a Punjabi Film titled ‘Jaani’ in June 2016 in Western Division, starring Punjabi actor Gippy Grewal and former Miss India Navneet Dhillon.
  • In Aug-Oct 2017, Tamil Film ‘Party’ was shot in Fiji.

ICCR-sponsored activities

  • ICCR-sponsored six-member Group led by Pt. Sanjeev Abhyankar, performed at various places in Fiji as part of health awareness campaign organized by Fijian Ministry of Health.
  • ICCR-sponsored 10-Member Bollywood Dance Group led by Ms. Shipra Goyal participated in Hibiscus Festival as well as performed in different cities of Fiji (Suva, Ba, Lautoka and Labasa) in 2016.
  • ICCR-sponsored 11-member Lavani dance group performed in different cities of Fiji (Suva, Ba, Lautoka, Sigatoka and Labasa) in July-August 2017 for health awareness campaign focusing towards disabled persons.
  • ICCR-sponsored 12-Member ‘Taka-Dimi-Ta’ Bollywood Dance Group led by Mr Narendra Kumar participated in Hibiscus Festival as well as performed in different cities of Fiji (Suva, Ba, Lautoka and Labasa) in 2017.
  • 10-member contemporary dance group ‘Tapasya’ led by Mr Ajay Kumar visited Fiji 13-25 August 2018 and performed in Suva, Labasa and Lautoka cities.

Namaste Pacifika, Festival of India: In association with Indian Ministry of Culture, MEA, ICCR, Ministry of Tourism, Mission organized six-month long ‘Namaste Pacifika’, a Festival of India, with an involvement of 12 groups, 125 artists and 55 events in Fiji and six concurrently accredited countries from 28 October 2017 to March 2018. Fijian President inaugurated ‘Namaste Pacifika’ on 28 October 2017. Some of the highlights included performances by Sabri Brothers (ICCR-sponsored), Mrs Meera Das Odissi Dance Group (M/o Culture-sponsored), Jatayumoksham by Kalakshetra Foundation (M/o Culture sponsored), Yugpursuh Drama (Shrimad Rajchandraji Mission-sponsored, Dharampur, Gujarat sponsored), Dr. Yashodha Thakore Kuchipudi Dance Group (M/o Culture-sponsored), ICCR-sponsored ‘Centre-stage’ Bollywood dance group led by Rishi Sharma. Two Indian master chefs (M/o Tourism-sponsored) presented their culinary skills at Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva during Indian Food Festival held from 26-29 October 2017.

Ten-member Shobhna Channel group participated in the ICCR’s ‘International Folk Dance Festival’ at New Delhi in November-December 2016. Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC)’s dance group participated in the ‘Asian Broadcasting Union International Dance Festival’ at Hyderabad on 13-15 January 2017.

High Commission of India, Ministry of Education, Heritage & Arts of Fiji and FSSS jointly organized First Ever 'International Ramayan Conference (IRC)' in Fiji from 14-16 October 2016. Twenty-Five Ramayan experts from eight countries: India, Fiji, Mauritius, Malaysia, Guyana, Trinidad, Australia, New Zealand, participated in the conference. ICCR-sponsored six Indian Ramayan experts and a 15-member traditional Ram Lila Group from Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan, Ayodhya.

The Mission organized centenary celebrations of arrival of last Girmit Ship (Sutlej-V on 11 November 1916) on 11 November 2016 and honoured 12 eminent persons for spreading Girmit values and culture.

Nationwide Ramayan Sammelans: This Mission-supported initiative was launched to organize Ramayan Sammelans all over Fiji to celebrate Fiji’s renowned tradition of Ramayan Mandalis. A three-day Ramayan Sammelan was organized by Shri Sanatan Dharm Sabha of Fiji in Lautoka on 28-30 November 2019. Hindi Parishad of fiji (Northern Branch) organized another Ramayan Sammelan in the northern Island of Fiji – Vanua Levu on 4-7 December 2019. In collaboration with Seaqaqa Sanathan Dharam Sabha a three-day Ramayan Sammelan was held in Labasa northern island of Vanua Levu on 4-6 March 2020. Similar Ramayan Sammelans were also organized in Suva on 6-8 March 2020 and in Nausori on 13-15 March 2020 in collaboration with local Diaspora organizations India-Fiji Friendship Forum and Vunimono Maha Sabha. The nation-wide Sammelans were held for the first time and saw enthusiastic participation by Fiji’s local Ramayan Mandalis.

Film Festivals: Fiji National University and Film Fiji, in association with the High Commission of India and others organized International Film Festivals in 2012; 2013, 2014 and 2015. India participated in Film festival organized by UNICEF in December 2016 and "Mary Kom" was screened during the event.

Regional International Hindi Conference:  The first ever Regional International Hindi Conference was held in Suva on 25 January 2020.  The conference was jointly inaugurated by Shri Akhilesh Mishra, Director General, ICCR from India and Mr. Yogesh Karan, Foreign Secretary & Permanent Secretary to Prime Minister of Fiji.  The Conference saw enthusiastic participation from Hindi teachers from all over Fiji and was well-attended by various Ministers, Academicians and Media.  The next World Hindi Conference is also proposed to be held in Fiji in 2021.

Public Sector Undertakings: Four Government of India undertakings, viz, New India Assurance Company Ltd. (since 1954), Life Insurance Corporation of India (since 1956), Bank of Baroda (since 1961) and Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS) Ltd (2015) are functioning in Fiji

***