Indian High Commissioner

Richard Butler | Exclusive Report by Doddy Morris of DAILY POST VU | 13TH JUNE, 2024

The new India-Vanuatu Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) was launched this week at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT) by Prime Minister (PM) Charlot Salwai and the High Commissioner of India to New Zealand (accredited to Vanuatu), Ms Neeta Bhushan.

During the official ceremony on Tuesday, PM Salwai welcomed High Commissioner Bhushan and her delegation. The PM expressed hope for a fruitful and enriching exchange during their stay, as he acknowledged the diplomatic relations established between the two nations since 1982.

He said the launching is yet another testament to the enduring commitment on both sides. The CEIT will greatly assist the Vanuatu Government, providing a facility for young Information and Communications Technology (ICT) enthusiasts, public servants and the private sector alike, to hone their skills.

“This Centre of Excellence and the programs it will deliver are also in line with Vanuatu’s national commitment to maximise the contribution, efficiency and effectiveness of ICTs in achieving the national vision of ‘A Just, Educated, Healthy and Wealthy Vanuatu,’” the PM said.

new ICT Centre

“I would like to make a special assurance to the Government of the Republic of India, that the Vanuatu Government is committed to looking after the India-Vanuatu CEIT and will provide the necessary support for its smooth running, so that it will continue to benefit Vanuatu and its citizens in the years to come.”

PM Salwai thanked all attendees for commemorating this historic milestone in India-Vanuatu relations.

“The relationship between the two countries has continued to remain positive, cordial and mutually beneficial, since 1982,” he said.

“42 years on, this is a relationship that continues to be built on a common historical heritage, shared values and ideologies. The latter has also manifested through mutual support of common initiatives at the United Nations (UN).

“Consequentially, Vanuatu regards India as an integral development partner not only at the national, and regional levels, but at the global level as well. The country looks forward to ongoing dialogue on ways to further develop this role going forward, through platforms such as the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC), now in its third cycle.

“It would be remiss of me not to, at this juncture, acknowledge the Indian Government for its ongoing assistance to Vanuatu, vis-à-vis India’s Regional Assistance Initiatives for Pacific Island Countries, and annual grant aid for development projects in Vanuatu. Assistance is also channeled through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program and through the Indian Council for Cultural Relationships (ICCR) scholarships scheme.”

The PM said the Vanuatu Government received ICT equipment through the Government of India’s Regional Assistance Initiative grant-in-aid in 2008, 2009 and 2010, which it then distributed to schools in the six provinces.

In his closing remarks, the PM conveyed his appreciation to all the hardworking staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Education and Training, and the VIT for their roles in making the India-Vanuatu CEIT a reality.