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5th Foreign Office Consultations between India and Romania

The 5th Round of India-Romania Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) was held in Bucharest on June 12, 2023. Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, Shri Sanjay Verma, headed the Indian delegation. At the same time, the Secretary of State for Global Affairs and Diplomatic Strategies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, H.E. Traian Laurențiu Hristea, led the Romanian delegation.

India and Romania are commemorating 75 years of diplomatic relations this year. The two nations have evolved into a strong relationship throughout these years. The bilateral commerce between the two countries has more than doubled in the last three years to more than US$1.3 billion.

In recent years, investment from India in Romania has expanded to over US$1.7 billion, with over 550 enterprises actively present. Around 50 Romanian enterprises are also present in India. During the consultations, the focus was on stimulating more bilateral commerce and investment.

During the Foreign Office Consultation, both parties evaluated bilateral relations. They addressed the next steps in critical sectors like agriculture, science and technology, health, defence, migration and mobility, space, and renewable energy. They further discussed regional and international matters of mutual concern, including Afghanistan, Ukraine, United Nations reforms,  the European Union, India’s G20 presidency, and the India-EU FTA.

During his visit, Secretary (West) also met with MrsRozáliaIbolya BIRÓ, who is the Chairperson of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Romanian Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies. The parties agreed that the next FOC would take place in India in early 2024.

India and Romania had their fourth Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi in November last year. Consultations included all aspects of bilateral relations, including economic, political, commercial, consular, and cultural ties. Both sides also discussed regional and global topics, such as QUAD, Indo-Pacific developments, India’s neighborhood, the Ukraine situation, the E.U., cooperation in multilateral fora such as the United Nations, UNSC reform, and India’s G20 presidency.

India and Romania established diplomatic ties in 1948, which were upgraded to ambassadorial status in 1968. The relations between the two countries and civilizations, however, predate this. In the 1989 revolution, the communist state was overthrown in Romania. Since then, the foundation and growth of democracy in Romania have brought the two countries closer together in terms of ideals and aspirations. India and Romania have previously backed each other on multilateral problems and collaborated at the U.N. The Foreign Office Consultations have been established to assess bilateral relations.

Regarding bilateral agreements, Simona Cojocaru, Romania’s deputy defence minister, met with India’s defence secretary, Giridhar Aramane, in New Delhi in March 2023, where the two nations inked their first Defence Cooperation Agreement. Cojocaru emphasized the importance of the treaty, saying it would serve as the foundation for growing their military cooperation and providing opportunities to collaborate in various domains.