South Asia and Beyond

‘India And Pacific Islands Have Much To Gain From Each Other’

NEW DELHI: India is far from the island states of the Pacific, but digital technology renders such distances meaningless, say Col. Sandeep Shaligram and Rajeev Sharma, both from India who live and work in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Stratnews Global caught up with them on The Gist for a perspective on Narendra Modi’s visit. In their view, the Pacific islands and PNG can benefit from India’s Digital Public Goods such as Aadhar and the Unified Payments Interface. Col. Shaligram, a former Indian Army officer who is the CEO of the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby, said PNG has vast acres of arable land that India could cultivate. Sharma, CEO of the Superannuation Fund, said Indians were involved in setting up PNG’s taxation system, and Indian teachers have had a long association with local education. Both were dismissive of China’s role and influence in the Pacific islands, pointing out that Australia remained the main giver of aid and other assistance. Tune in for more in this chat on Modi’s visit to PNG.


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