22 Aug 2015

Solar power, medicine among India's pledges to Pacific

7:53 pm on 22 August 2015

India's prime minister has pledged to fund solar power projects and the distribution of generic medicines to Pacific Island countries.

Narendra Modi's pledge comes at the end of a summit with the leaders of 14 Pacific countries in the western state of Rajasthan.

India will fund solar power to thousands of homes, and extend help to build human resources and space technology for disaster management and to mitigate the effects of climate change.

He also pledged a greater Indian Naval presence, as well as the expansion of trade and development of health services.

"Supply of generic drugs from India is presently routed through third countries and they are therefore very expensive. We are ready to set up a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant and distribution centre in the Pacific islands region and are please to offer a line of credit for this project."

India has been trying to increase its profile in recent years as it jostles with China's growing presence in the Pacific.

This week's summit follows Mr Modi's visit to Suva for a similar meeting last year.

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