India’s new High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Shri Inbasekar Sunaramuthi presented his credentials to the Acting Governor General, Patterson Oti at Government House today (June 20).
H.E. Patterson Oti accepted High Commissioner Sunaramuthi’s credentials-formalizing his appointment while also accepting the letter of recall of his predecessor.
In congratulating H.E. Sunaramuthi, Acting Governor General Patterson Oti expressed confidence in the Indian envoy that with his wealth of experience as a seasoned career diplomat, H.E Sunaramuthi will continue to strengthen and deepen the existing cordial and mutual partnership and friendship that India and Solomon Islands enjoys.
H.E. Oti noted that through the south-south cooperation, Solomon Islands have benefitted from India’s engagement with the region as well as on the bilateral level.
“For that I want to acknowledge and thank your government for the -partnerships it has forged in the many different sectors and platforms. Even throughout the Pandemic, India has stood by Solomon Islands in our national efforts against Covid 19 with vaccine supplies of the Astra Zeneca,” H.E Oti said.
Oti further noted that there is still room for improvement to the relations between the two countries and propose two sectors for further consideration and strengthening under the technical cooperation between the two countries.
“The first is to explore the prospect of establishing tertiary health arrangements between India and Solomon Islands. The second is to explore the possibilities of the establishment and adoption of Barefoot College here in Solomon Islands to assist in poverty alleviation and as a medium to achieve key targets under 2030 SDGs,” H.E Oti said.
Furthermore, and as the 9th largest industrial economy Solomon Islands recognizes the strength and potential India can bring to propel this relationship.
“I trust that during your tenure, you will work closely with our government to ensure that the relations between India and Solomon Islands will elevate to new heights, in particular in regards to the two prospects I have highlighted. We look forward to your contributions, and want to assure you that the Government and people of Solomon Islands stands ready and fully committed to support your work here,” H.E Oti said.
In response, H.E Sunaramuthi conveyed personal greetings from the President of India with best wishes to the Government and People of Solomon Islands saying that India and Solomon Islands have shared values of democracy, rule of law, quest for bringing sustainable development and bringing out millions of our citizens from poverty.
The Indian envoy said that India has been a reliable Development Partner to developing countries, led by its flagship program – the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) since 1964.
“This is our enduring commitment to capacity building and sharing of knowledge through ITEC Scholarships to eligible Solomon Islands citizens that enabled them to graduate from India’s reputed educational institutions, free of cost and assisted in Solomon Islands nation building; hence, it is our fervent request that ITEC slots may be fully availed,” H.E Sunaramuthi said.
H.E Sunaramuthi is confident that the Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT), once established would develop into a hub of Information Technology to help train its IT manpower to transform Solomon Islands technological landscape.
H.E Sunaramuthi recommended the Solomon Islands Government to avail the facility of Grant-in-aid of US$ 200,000, provided by GOI every year to projects in Solomon Islands – a choice, which could make lasting impact on the lives of Solomon Islanders.
“Solomon Islands is blessed with fertile soil, natural resources, abundant marine wealth and we look forward to cost-effective Indian tech in harnessing renewable energy in Solomon Islands and Indian companies to provide quality infrastructure at affordable cost. India looks forward to Solomon Isls to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and International Solar Alliance (ISA),”H.E Sunaramuthi.
H.E Sunaramuthi pledged India’s continued commitment to support Solomon Islands in its quest for sustainable development while addressing the ever-present challenge of climate change and further pledged India’s readiness to facilitate the opening of Solomon Islands High Commission in Delhi, which will bring our people-to-people’s ties closer.