New Delhi, Apr 19 (PTI) Australian High Commissioner Barry O'Farrell AO on Monday announced Rs 8.12 crore grant under an India-Australia initiative to support efforts towards a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
The Australian high commission said O'Farrell launched the Australia-India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Partnership (AIIPOIP) programme for the Indo-Pacific region.
'This AUD 1.4 million (Rs 8.12 crore) grant programme is a practical initiative to advance Australia and India's shared vision for the Indo-Pacific,' O'Farrell said.
'Through this programme, we are seeking new proposals on how Australia, India and other regional partners can advance our shared maritime objectives,' he added.
The high commission said the AIIPOIP grants programme will help deliver practical outcomes under the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
'Australia is proud to be co-leading with India the marine ecology pillar of the IPOI,' O'Farrell said.
At the East Asia summit in Bangkok in 2019, Prime Minister Modi proposed setting up of the IPOI to conserve and sustainably use the maritime domain and to make meaningful efforts to create a safe and secure maritime domain.
The high commission said the first phase of the multi-year grant programme will encourage proposals from Australian and Indian stakeholders to share expertise and resources, complementing the work under existing regional mechanisms such as ASEAN, the Indian Ocean Rim Association, and the Pacific Islands Forum.
'AIIPOIP is an outcome of the Australia-India Joint Declaration on a shared vision for maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, signed by Australia's Foreign Minister Senator Marise Payne and India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in June 2020, as part of the Australia-India comprehensive and strategic partnership agreement,' it said. PTI MPB SMN SMN