“Bilateral relations will scale new heights”

H.E. Mr Mahender Singh Kanyal, Ambassador of India to Suriname, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines responded to questions from the India Empire Magazine on a range of subjects ...

We’ve had Regional PBDs in different parts of the world, but never in the Caribbean and Latin American region. Do you see one happening in the Caribbean in the near future?

As you are aware, India has the second largest diaspora across the globe and is among the very few countries in the world which has an extensive policy framework of programme for engagement with diaspora in a sustained and interactive manner. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Regional PBD, PBD Conference, Know India Programme, Spl Know India Programme, Overseas Citizenship of India Card, Bharat Ko Janiye Quiz, Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children are a few among them. India is always proud of its rich diaspora and its achievements, which acts as an important bridge to build people-to-people contacts and strengthen bilateral relations between India and the country of domicile of diaspora. I would be very happy to see a regional PBD organized by the Government of India in this region in the near future.

What is the extent of bilateral trade between India and Suriname? In which areas do you see cooperation getting enhanced in 2021?

It is a matter of great pride for us all in India and for the diaspora globally that Governments in Suriname and Guyana are now headed by the respective Presidents with Indian roots. We are confident that under the dynamic leadership of H.E. Mr. Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of the Republic of Suriname, bilateral relations in all spheres will scale new heights in the coming times

Trade and economic links between India and Suriname are modest due to lack of connectivity, though there is a lot of potential to enhance trade and commerce between the two countries. The sectors where I can see a considerable room for cooperation and collaboration and in some sectors where Suriname has the potential to lead in the region, are agriculture, agro processing, food processing, animal husbandry, fisheries, forestry, farming, infrastructure, solar, traditional systems of medicine, pharma, IT, digital animation, mining and oil and gas, culture, tourism and entertainment industry.