Speaking on the occasion, the President welcomed them to India.
He said even though India is separated from the Pacific Island Countries by oceans and continents, India is proud to have a long tradition of close friendship with them.
Government of India attaches great importance to its relations with their friends in the Pacific Island Countries. India believes economic linkages and co-operation with Pacific Island countries are a key factor in it’s extended “Act East” Policy, he said.
The President said India is delighted to host the 2nd Summit of the Forum for India- Pacific Islands Co-operation.
The establishment of the Forum reflects the desire of all its member countries to build an enduring partnership between our nations and our peoples.
The Pacific Island Countries are generously endowed with natural resources. India would be happy to work with them in harnessing their mineral, marine and hydrocarbon resources.
The Government of India and private sector are keen to strengthen and diversify bilateral trade and encourage investments in fisheries, agriculture, oil and natural gas, mining and water desalination, the President said.
Mukherjee said India appreciates the support it has received from them for its candidature for permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.
The second FIPIC Summit will be held on Aug 21 in Jaipur.
FIPIC has as its members India and 14 Pacific Island countries, namely Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.