December 2020 \ Interviews \ COVER STORY—GOPIO SURINAME
“We have a lot to offer to the Indian economy”

Head of the Gopio Suriname Chapter Mrs Drs Sharmila H. Ramadhin spoke to India Empire on issues ranging from the role of Surinamese Diaspora to how Suriname can become a hub for India in the Caribbean ...

On the other hand she shares deep and enduring ties with her international (non) Gopio network. So cross border activities are part of her duty.

She believes that Suriname is a country full of potential. Agricultural, mineral resources, general trade of consumer and industrial goods, science & technology exchange. It must be said that Suriname is the world’s greenest country with a lot of opportunities in an ecological sense.

There are all the ingredients to accommodate the long term growth: abundant natural resources, safe working environment, improving investment climate and a motivated and skilled workforce.


Sharmila has established an excellent network in various disciplines such as legal, hospitality, mining and industrial areas when needed and works together with specialized partners in these sectors. She is a result driven and enthusiastic person who gets things done.

How long has your association been with the GOPIO and why did you choose to volunteer for this organization?

I got to know GOPIO from the Netherlands, when the first GOPIO event was organized to launch GOPIO in Amsterdam by the current International Chairman of GOPIO’s Cultural Council, Drs Ryan Tewari in the early 2000s. GOPIO was presented as an interesting vehicle for business with people of the Indian Diaspora. Living in the Netherlands I experienced a real bonding with India through GOPIO. Nowadays, living in Suriname we are talking about and feeling another Surinamese Diaspora. This means that Suriname has her own Diaspora in other countries like the Netherlands, Caribbean and USA. The direct bonding with India should be more inspired by activities directly between Suriname and India. The Indian Embassy should have a more active role.

What kind of vision do you have to get the Indian diaspora in your country more involved in its engagement with India, through the Indian Embassy?

In my personal and professional life I have visited India many times. India is very attractive for me and my husband as he has studied in India. We both enjoy the spiritual part of India and the nature of the Himalayan area, which we climbed partly several times.The ambassador of India has mentioned many opportunities of collaboration between India and Suriname.

Besides the instrumental imports from India, mentioned by the ambassador, there are other opportunities between these two countries. Suriname is in a phase to build her country and its economy. Suriname can make good use of knowhow in prefab building, infrastructure, agriculture, military, IT skills, marketing, and research. Cultural and religious activities like yoga, dance, art and spirituality are other opportunities to relate with the Indian diaspora.