Dominican Republic–India relations

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Dominican Republic–India relations
Map indicating locations of Dominican Republic and India

Dominican Republic

India
Diplomatic mission
Embassy of Dominican Republic in New DelhiHonorary Consulate of India, Santo Domingo

Dominican Republic–India relations refers to the international relations that exist between the Dominican Republic and India. The Dominican Republic maintains an embassy in New Delhi. The Embassy of India in Havana, Cuba is jointly accredited to the Dominican Republic. India also maintains an honorary consulate in Santo Domingo.[1]

History[edit]

The Dominican Republic and India established diplomatic relations in May 1999. The countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Santo Domingo in May 2001 agreeing to hold regular Foreign Office consultations. During the visit of Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Rao Inderjit Singh visiting to the Dominican Republic in September 2004, the Dominican Republic Government announced that it would open an embassy in New Delhi.[2] DR Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso, several other ministers, and business delegates visited Delhi, Agra, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai in February 2006. During the visit, the two countries signed an agreement on bilateral cooperation in Delhi on 17 February 2006.[3][2] The Dominican Republic opened its embassy in New Delhi on 1 May 2006.[2] The current Ambassador of Dominican Republic to India, Frank Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, also serves as the Dean of Diplomatic Corps.[4]

DR President Leonel Fernandez visited India to attend the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in February 2011. He also met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Foreign Minister, and several Indian businessmen. Fernandez addressed the Indian Council of World Affairs, and seminars organized by FICCI and CII in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.[5][2][3] From India, the highest level visits to the Dominican Republic have been at the level of minister of state. Ministers of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma, Shashi Tharoor, and General V.K. Singh visited the country in February 2007, January 2010, and February 2015 respectively. During Singh's visit, the two countries signed an MoU on co-operation in renewable energy.[2][3]

The Dominican Republic and India were among the first 19 countries to join the International Solar Alliance, proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 15 November 2016.[6]

Trade[edit]

Bilateral trade between the Dominican Republic and India totaled US$431.57 million in 2014-15. India exported $140.91 million worth of goods to the Dominican Republic, and imported $290.66 million. The main commodities exported by India to the Dominican Republic are cotton textiles and readymade garments, drugs and pharmaceuticals, furniture, transport equipment, manufactures of metals, chemicals, plastic and linoleum products, tea, processed foods and marine products. The major commodities imported by India from the Dominican Republic are tobacco, pearls, precious stones, semi-precious stones, jewels, and coins.[2]

The Dominican Republic and India signed an Air Services Agreement to begin scheduled commercial flights between the two countries on 19 October 2011.[7]

Indian IT firm signed an MoU with Cyber Park, Santo Domingo to establish IT training centre at the park. MANN India established a BPO at the Cyberpark, Santo Domingo. Bajaj retails two-wheelers in the Dominican Republic.[7] Indian pharmaceutical firms Claris Life Sciences Ltd. and Micro-Labs have a representative offices in Santo Domingo. Claris had a revenue of over $1 million in the country in 2011. Caplin Point sources medicines in bulk from India and retails them in the Dominican Republic.[7]

Brugal, the Dominican Republic's largest rum distiller, acquired distillery units from Praj Industries, Pune.[7]

Foreign aid[edit]

India donated $50,000 worth of life saving drugs to the Dominican Republic in March 2006. At the request of the DR Government, India donated medicines to provide relief in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Noel in October–November 2007.[2]

India and the Dominican Republic signed an MoU to establish an IT Centre of excellence with Indian assistance in January 2010. The Centre was inaugurated by the DR President in August 2011. The Centre was operated by CDAC India with three Indian faculty members for the initial two-year period, before it was handed over to Dominican authorities.[2]

Since 1999, citizens of the Dominican Republic are eligible for scholarships under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme. They are also eligible for Indian Council for Cultural Relations scholarships. Several DR diplomats have also attended the PCFD programme run by the Foreign Service Institute.[2]

Cultural relations[edit]

The Dominican Republic and India signed a bilateral agreement on cultural co-operation in August 2012. Indian food festivals were held in Santo Domingo in October 2013, and in March and October 2014. DR Television broadcast an Indian film festival during April 2014.

As of January 2016, about 50 Indian citizens and people of Indian origin reside in the Dominican Republic. They are employed as businessmen, engineers, and software experts. There are also students at medical colleges and representatives of Indian companies.[2]

Satya Sai Baba of Putthaparthy has some followers in the Dominican Republic. A large number of Dominican visitors to India are followers of Sai Baba.[2]

In February 2017, Miss Dominican Republic contestant Shaderska Valdez and another model became the first Dominicans to walk the ramp at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017 in Mumbai.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Indian Missions Abroad". Ministry of External Affairs. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Indo - Dominican Republic Relations" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs. January 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Successful Official Visit". Embassy of the Dominican Republic, New Delhi. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  4. ^ Basu, Nayanima (18 December 2016). "It is difficult for India to go completely cashless: Frank Hans Dannenberg Castellanos". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Leonel Fernández regresa hoy viaje a Suiza y la India - El Nacional". El Nacional (in Spanish). 5 February 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  6. ^ IANS (2016-11-17). "19 countries sign up for solar alliance". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  7. ^ a b c d "Indo - Dominican Republic Relations" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs. March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  8. ^ "She loves India but..." Rediff. Retrieved 30 March 2017.