Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Barry O’Farrell AO, launched the Australia-India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Partnership (AIIPOIP) grant program on Monday to help support a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific underpinned by the rule of law and respect for sovereignty.

High Commission O’Farrell said that the AUD 1.4 million (Rs 8.12 crore) grant program is a practical initiative to advance Australia and India’s shared vision for the Indo-Pacific.

“Through this program, we are seeking new proposals on how Australia, India and other regional partners can advance our shared maritime objectives,” he added.

The AIIPOIP grant program will help deliver practical outcomes under the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 14th East Asia Summit in November 2019.

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“Australia is proud to be co-leading with India the marine ecology pillar of the IPOI”, High Commissioner O’Farrell said.

The first phase of this multi-year grant program 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 Dr S Jaishankar in June 2020, as part of the Australia-India Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership Agreement.

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