WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Dec. 11) - The Indian High Commissioner in Fiji says India is interested in making a long term commitment to the region.

Professor Ishwar Singh Chauhan said a team of experts will arrive next month to assess the aid needs of Pacific Island countries.

He says the focus will be on providing training opportunities and developing information technology.

Mr Chauhan said the aid team will also visit Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga and Tuvalu, and others may be added to the list.

He also said the possibility of exporting kava to India is being explored.

"We have been in touch with some very large pharmaceutical manufacturers in India, so we are already in touch with those manufacturers of pharmaceuticals who specialize in herbal drugs or herbal preparations and we are trying to explore the possibility of exporting kava to them."

December 11, 2003

Radio New Zealand International:


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