Cooks keen to co-operate with India over seabed resources

The Cook Islands Health Minister Nandi Glassie says the Cook Islands is keen to co-operate with India over seabed exploration and mining.

He was involved in discussions about financial support from India during India's gathering of Pacific island countries in Jaipur last month.

India's talks with Pacific states resulted in various offers of help in areas from solar power to space technology as well as expanded trade and scholarships.

Some observers feel the Indian government of Narendra Modi is primarily keen to curry support for the country's bid for a permanent seat on the UN security council.

However, as with China, the needs of India's massive population have created a demand for more natural resources, from which increasing interest in the Pacific region stems.

Nandie Glassie says the Cook Islands is particularly interested in the progress made by India as a pioneer investor in ocean mineral resource exploration.

He says the Cook Islands and other Pacific island countries are pursuing viable options for mining and there may be considerable advantages in developing stronger cooperation with India and within the region.