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India enjoys close, warm and friendly relations with Suriname, reinforced by cultural and people to people contact bridged by Indian Diaspora's arrival dating back to 142 years. Over 2,30,000 Persons of Indian origin hailing from eastern Utter Pradesh and Bihar, and some 50 Sindhi families living in Suriname contribute significantly to economy, civil service, technocrats and composite cultural milieu of Suriname.
Several high level Ministerial visits have been exchanged. A high level delegation comprising the then Foreign Minister Winston Lackin, and the then Education Minister and the current Vice President of the Republic of Suriname , Ashwin Adhin and experts from Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture visited India from January 12-15 in connection with the 5th Joint Commission meeting. Mr. Ashwin Adhin accompanied by his spouse also paid a personal visit to India from November 13-25, 2014 to participate in the World Hindu Congress . During the visit, he paid a courtesy call on MOS (VK) and discussed wide ranging bilateral issues.
Joint Commission / LoC
India has provided four Credit lines worth US$ 57 million to Suriname to set up water pumps, power transmission lines, 3 Chetak helicopters, Crash Fire Tenders and coastal equipment. Three Chetak helicopters produced by HAL worth US $ 13.5 million were handed over to Ministry of Defence in March, 2015. Suriname is keen to avail of further concessional credit from India for implementation of more projects. During the 5th JCM India further announced US$ 50 million as line of credit to Suriname. Proposals under additional US$ 50 million LOC are under processing.
A grant of US$ 3,11,567.21 for upgrading of the s' Lands Hospital morgue in Paramaribo and a sum of US$1,69,400/- as an assistance to the Institute for Natural Resources and Engineering Studies (NATIN) of Suriname were sanctioned under Grant- in-Aid to Latin American and Caribbean region . Both grants have been fully utilized.
A four member pharmaceutical delegation from Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers led by Shri Sudhansh Pant, Joint Secretary visited Suriname from April 07-10, 2015 to explore possibilities of future cooperation in pharma sector.
Trade and economic links between India and Suriname are modest. Indian export to Suriname consists of boilers, machinery, iron & steel, electrical machinery & equipment, sound recorders, pharmaceutical products, textiles, vehicles, coffee, tea and spices, rubber, paper, tobacco, organic chemicals, furniture, carpets, ceramic products, footwear and printed books; Indian import consists of wood, aluminum and electrical machinery.
Exports to India
2011 - 2012 US$ 4.40 million
(Source: Department of Commerce, Govt of India)
Imports from India
2011 - 2012 US$ 10.43 million
(Source: Department of Commerce, Govt of India)
Suriname exports bauxite, rice, iron scrap, timber, petroleum products and gold. The country increasingly depends on gold and oil exports. Staatsolie, a public sector undertaking, and a profitable company is engaged in exploring oil fields and exporting petroleum products. Other economic sectors include outsourcing industry and eco-friendly tourism.
The Surinamese businessmen have evinced interest in bilateral cooperation in agricultural sector and food processing industry. As a follow up to the Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of agriculture which was signed in 2003, the first ever Joint Working Group of Experts from both sides met in New Delhi on July 28, 2014. A MoU was signed between FICCI and the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Suriname in 2003 to set up a Joint Business Council.
A 15 member Indian business delegation visited Suriname from April 25 to May 05. Delegation held meetings with Suriname Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The delegation consisted of entrepreneurs from the fields of healthcare, lumber, Gold, Music, Glass, Infrastructure, Bauxite, trade and Commercial Industries.
A two member delegation led by Mr Henk Nareendorp, Chairman, Suriname Chamber of Commerce participated in 6th CII India- LAC Conclave in October 2015 for developing closer economic and commercial ties between the two countries.
Under ITEC programme the slots reserved for Suriname are 20 during the year 2015-16. There is lot of interest in training programmes in rural development, banking, ICT, mass media etc.
Culture And Education
Indian Cultural Centre in Suriname was opened in 1978 and is actively promoting Hindi language, folk dance with focus on Kathak, Yoga and Classical Music. India provided grants worth US $ 29500/- for promotion of Hindi in Suriname in the year 2015 to assist 80 voluntary Hindi schools being run by the Hindustani community across Suriname. Two Surinamese students are currently learning Hindi in the Kendriya Hindi Sansthan in Agra. The noted Hindi scholar from Suriname Mr Soredjan Parohi was conferred Vishwa Hindi Samman in Bhopal in September 2015. Surinamese students have also shown keen interest in various scholarship schemes of ICCR, currently two students are studying BAMS course in India under AYUSH scholarship.
Since almost 37% of the total population of 5,73,311 is of Indian origin, demand for OCI cards is approximately 400 per year. The electronic travel authorisation system (eTVA) for Suriname has been implemented, reducing the number of visa applications to an average of 30 application per year.
31 December, 2015
India - Suriname Relations