Media Center Media Center

India-Suriname, Joint Statement

March 17, 2003

  • The President of Suriname, H. E. Mr. R. R. Venetiaan undertook a State Visit to India from March 16-20, 2003 upon the invitation of the President of India H. E. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
  • Within the framework of the visit H. E. Mr. Venetiaan held fruitful discussions with H. E. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the President of the Republic of India, and H.E. Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India.
  • During bilateral discussions held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, both sides exchanged views on various bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
  • Both sides noted with satisfaction that India-Suriname relations, which have a strong cultural and historical basis, are marked by cordiality and a high degree of understanding and close proximity on current principal issues. Both sides reiterated their desire to strengthen bilateral relations based on the traditionally close ties between the two countries.
  • India noted the efforts of Suriname to increasingly integrate with regional organizations such as, CARICOM, ACP, OAS and also the global economy. In this connection, both sides recognized that considerable potential exists for India to undertake mutually beneficial cooperation with Suriname in various sectors.
  • Suriname is a country with rich untapped natural resources and emerging infrastructural requirements. Given India's varied experience in high technology and industrial areas, India could, in a spirit of South-South cooperation, share expertise in priority areas identified by Suriname.
  • To these ends, the Indian side agreed to consider suitably extending the scope of ongoing cooperation under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation. India also agreed to double the quota of ITEC scholarships offered to Suriname from 15 to 30 slots. Possibility of deputing Indian ITEC experts in key sectors identified by Suriname would also be considered.
  • With a view to giving fillip to ongoing cooperation in the economic and commercial area, the Indian side agreed to extend a concessional line of credit of US $ 10 million to Suriname through the Exim Bank of India for undertaking developmental projects and activities in Suriname jointly identified by the two sides and requiring Indian products and services.
  • The two sides noted that besides projects already identified for the US $ 10 million Credit Line being extended by India to Suriname, some Surinamese companies had requisitioned for the technical services of Indian companies e.g. EBS of Suriname had signed an MoU with M/s. P.E.C. and L & T of India for setting up an electrical transmission line from Paranam to Paramaribo. In connection with all such developmental projects requiring application of Indian products and expertise in Suriname, Indian side agreed to give best possible consideration for extending similar concessional credit line facilities through Exim Bank of India.
  • As a gesture of its commitment to further strengthening India-Suriname bilateral relations, the Indian side agreed to waive in entirety, all pending payments due by Suriname to India against the first Credit Line of Rs. 50 million extended by India in 1992.
  • Both sides noted that a high-level Surinamese delegation, led by Health Minister of Suriname and including representatives of the private sector had participated in an India – Latin American Health Summit held in India in September 2002. During the visit, possibilities of sharing Indian expertise in the areas of hospital management services, deployment of Indian medical doctors and specialists in Surinamese hospitals, the public health sector, for control of malaria and other infectious tropical diseases and sourcing of Indian medicines at economical costs, were identified. In order to give impetus to such cooperation, the Indian side agreed to donate Indian medicines worth US $ 100,000/- to Suriname for treatment of different diseases.
  • Although the bilateral Joint Commission meeting could not take place in 2001 in India due to constraints in both countries, both sides agreed to give high priority to intensifying cooperation in all the agreed sectors of cooperation and to consider the possibility of convening a meeting of the Joint Commission in New Delhi this year on mutually convenient dates.
  • The following agreements were signed during this State Visit :
    1. MoU on Agriculture;
    2. Cultural Exchange Programme
    3. Agreement on extending a new US$10 million Line of Credit by India to Suriname
      Possibility of signing Agreements/MoU in the field of civil aviation; in the area of technical cooperation and in Information Technology would be given high priority by both sides.
  • Both sides emphasized the need for creating better awareness of each other's strengths within the private sector of the two countries. Trade missions would be undertaken and participation in trade/commercial exhibitions in both countries would be encouraged. In keeping with these objectives, they welcomed the decision of the apex Indian industry association, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry) to sign an MoU with its Surinamese counterpart KKF (Surinamese Chamber of Commerce & Industry) during the visit. They also welcomed the proposal to establish a Joint Business Council between the two countries.
  • The two sides reiterated their support to the need to reform the UN, particularly the expansion of the UN Security Council. They stressed, in particular, the need for equitable balance in the expanded Security Council to provide a constructive voice to the aspirations of the developing countries. They believed that piecemeal and discriminatory approaches to such expansion will be inconsistent with the objectives of that world body. Considering that India is the largest democracy in the world and in view of its past contributions to the promotion of peace, Suriname expressed support for India's claim for permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.
  • India and Suriname affirmed that terrorism cannot be justified in any form, for any cause or for any reason as an excuse. They agreed that the fight against terrorism has to be global, comprehensive and sustained for the objective of total elimination of terrorism worldwide. In this context, they reiterated their commitment to the UN Security Council Resolution 1373. They stressed the need to strengthen the international legal regime to fight terrorism through the adoption of the comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
  • The Surinamese side appreciated the evolving security concerns of India in the light of recent local, regional and global developments. It appreciated the restraint and responsibility shown by India despite its varied defence capabilities. In this connection, Surinamese side supported the resolution of differences between India and Pakistan through bilateral dialogue. It also recognized that cross-border infiltration and terrorism had to end to encourage resumption of dialogue. It called on concerned countries to dismantle the infrastructure of support to terrorism and to stop serving as a platform for international terrorism.
  • Both sides noted with satisfaction that in the recent past, high-level contacts had been facilitated between the Parliaments of both countries. The Hon'ble Speaker of the Suriname led a parliamentary delegation to India in August 2002 and also graced the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Indian Parliament in January 2003. Likewise, the Hon'ble Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Indian Parliament) had accepted the invitation of the Hon'ble Speaker of the Suriname National Assembly to visit Suriname as per mutual convenience. Both sides welcomed such contacts and agreed to maintain a sustained dialogue between the parliaments of the two democracies.
  • The Indian side expressed pleasure that Suriname will be the next venue for the Seventh World Hindi Conference in Paramaribo from June 5-9, 2003.
  • The Indian side welcomed the invitation by the Government of Suriname for India to participate as a guest country in the mega CARICOM cultural event (CARIFESTA) being hosted by Surinamese in August 2003 and agreed to send an Indian cultural contingent to perform in the event.
  • The Surinamese side expressed sincere thanks to the Government of the Republic of India for all the hospitality extended to them and the excellent arrangements made for their visit to India.
Comments

Post A Comment

  • Name *
    E-mail *
  • Write Your Comment *
  • Verification Code * Verification Code