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H.E. Mr. Albert Ramdin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation of Suriname Visits India for Bilateral Trade Talks

External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation of Suriname H.E. Mr. Albert Ramdin on the latter’s official visit to India. They co-chaired the 8th India-Suriname Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) in New Delhi on December 6, 2023. The meeting gave an opportunity to hold bilateral talks on various sectors and explore new areas of expansion in trade relations.

Sectors under discussion:

Bilateral talks were carried out on sectors of trade & commerce, energy & mining, health, pharmaceuticals & traditional medicines, development partnerships, culture, & people-to-people linkages. Furthermore, both countries also agreed to expand cooperation in areas like Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), small and medium enterprises, cyber security, capacity building, the exchange of scholars, millet production, organization of informative seminars and multi-faceted cultural events, etc.

The official visit of H.E. Mr. Albert Ramdin opened up several opportunities to revisit and expand the existing relations enjoyed by both countries. Commenting on Platform X, Dr. S. Jaishankar elaborated on the productive discussion that the two dignitaries had in the meeting. He said that they “took stock of our bilateral ties, focusing on economic, development, defence, capacity building, and cultural cooperation.” Further commenting on their bilateral relations with respect to global trade, he said that the two ministers “exchanged views on shared concerns and aspirations of the Global South, our neighborhoods, cooperation via CELAC and CARICOM formats, and at the UN.” The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is a regional trade bloc of Latin American and Caribbean countries composed of 33 countries. On the other hand, CARICOM, or Caribbean Community, is an intergovernmental organization of 15 member states throughout the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean. Its main aim is to promote economic cooperation among the member states.

Suriname-India Relations:

The relations between India and Suriname date back to 149 years. The relations were established in 1976, and India opened its Embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname, in 1977. The Suriname Embassy began functioning in New Delhi, India, in March 2000. Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi is a person of Indian origin. He was the chief guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), held virtually in 2021. He was also the recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2021 for Public Service.

H.E. Mr. Albert Ramdin arrived from Suriname to India on December 5 (Tuesday). His departure was on December 7. The three-day meeting holds significance for furthering bilateral relations between the two countries. According to Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, the meeting gave an opportunity to both India and Suriname to further their historical ties too.