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 ...

Can you in a nutshell explain Suriname’s strong linkage with the Sarnaami Hindustani community in the Netherlands?

The Diaspora of the Hindustani Surinamese in the Netherlands consists of 200,000 people. Many of them still have family and friends in Suriname, which means a strong relation between Suriname and The Netherlands through their families and friends. Many parents living in The Netherlands motivate their children to go to the country of birth of their parents. India is very popular as a holiday destination for the diaspora for historical, religious and shopping reasons.

What role can the GOPIO play in case a regional PBD is held in the Caribbean?

Gopio Suriname may have a coordination role. We can work together as Surinamese people are kind and team players. We also have our regional networks in the neighbouring countries! A regional PBD would give the Caribbean Indian Diaspora a boost! This will help Suriname to gain attention, because the relations with India were on a low tone in the last 10 years. It’s important to remember that we have a lot to offer to the Indian economy and its presence in the Caribbean.