Embassy of India
India-Dominican Republic Bilateral Brief
Bilateral relations between India and the Dominican Republic (DR) have been friendly and continue to deepen in all spheres.
Political relations and institutional framework
Diplomatic relations between India and Dominican Republic were established in May, 1999. Dominican Republic opened its Embassy in New Delhi on 01st May 2006. India opened its Embassy in Santo Domingo on 01st January 2022.
2) DR supported India for UNSC non-permanent seat 2010 as well as Indian candidatures for ICJ, MOI and UNESCO in 2019. DR was one of the first signatories of the Framework Agreement on International Solar Alliance.
3) MOS (Shri Rao Inderjit Singh), MEA visited Dominican Republic in September 2004. During the visit, the DR government announced its intention to upgrade diplomatic relations and open an Embassy in New Delhi. It also invited Indian companies to develop business and invest in areas such as IT, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure projects. The DR leaders offered to work with India in the UN, WTO, and other multilateral forums. MOS offered ITEC training slots and technical assistance to DR.
4) DR Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso visited India in February 2006 heading a high level delegation which included Ministers of IT and Investment, Higher Education and Science and Technology, Deputy Tourism Minister and 12 business delegates. The delegation visited Delhi, Agra, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Immediately after the visit, DR opened its Embassy in India on 1st May 2006. An agreement on Bilateral Cooperation was signed by DR Foreign Minister and Minister of State Shri Anand Sharma in Delhi on 17 February 2006. MOS (Shri Anand Sharma), MEA visited the DR in February 2007.
5) In June 2008, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Clara Quinones de Longo from Dominican Republic attended the Second India-Central America System for Integration (SICA) Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New Delhi. Setting up of an IT Centre in Dominican Republic was announced at the meeting as a symbol of South - South Cooperation.
6) Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr. Shashi Tharoor visited Dominican Republic from January 23-25, 2010 at the invitation of President Dr. Leonel Fernandez Reyna. During the visit, wide ranging talks were held with the President and the Foreign Minister Mr. Carlos Morales. MoS (ST) signed an MoU to set up an IT Centre for Excellence in DR with the assistance of GOI. The Centre was inaugurated by the President in August 2011. CDAC India ran the Centre with three Indian faculty members for two years. MoS (ST) also held discussions with DR Foreign Trade Minister Mr. Eddy Martinez Manzueta.
7) President of the Dominican Republic Dr. Leonel Fernandez visited India and attended the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit held from February 3-5, 2011. During his stay in India, besides meeting with Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister, he met with Indian business leaders and attended seminars at Mumbai, Bangalore aand Delhi by FICCI, CII etc. He also addressed the Indian Council of World Affairs. A high level business delegation accompanied him.
8) Secretary (West) M. Ganapati of Ministry of External Affairs with Joint Secretary (LAC) visited Dominican Republic during 22-23 August, 2012. The visit highlighted the keen interest of both sides to promote trade, increasing scholarships for Dominican students as well as cooperation in natural disaster management and economic areas. A Cultural Agreement was also signed between India and Dominican Republic.
9) General (Rtd.) Shri V.K. Singh, Minister of State (VKS) visited DR in February, 2015. He met Foreign Minister, Navarro, and delivered an address on India’s policy towards LAC region and also interacted with business leaders. An agreement for Cooperation in Renewable Energy was signed.
10) Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr. Nasim Zaidi participated in the 2nd A-WEB General Assembly and International Conference, which gathered panelists from about 100 electoral besides bodies from around the world, held from 18-21 August 2015 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
11) An Agreement on gainful occupation for family members of diplomatic mission was signed in Santo Domingo in June 2016, by Mr. Ashok Das, Joint Secretary (LAC) from Indian side and Mr. Andres Navarro Garcia, Minister of External Relations fo Dominican Republic.
12) A Memorandum of Understanding between the Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service (SSIFS) of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Institute of High Education in Diplomatic and Consular Training of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Dominican Republic was signed in Santo Domingo on 3rd October 2017 by DR Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas and by Ambassador of India to Cuba (concurrently accredited to DR) on behalf of FSI.
13) Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri V. Muraleedharan visited Santo Domingo from 25-27 August 2019. During the visit, he called on Foreign Minister Miguel O. Vargas Maldonado and held discussions with Minister of Energy Antonio Isa Conde, Minister of Economy, Planning and Development Juan A. Jimenez Nunez and Minister of Industry Nelson Toca Simo. During the visit, an Agreement on Exemption on Visa Requirements for Holderss of Diplomatic and Official Passports between the Government of Republic of India and Government of the Dominican Republic was signed.
14) Former Vice Minister, Bilateral Relations Jose Blanco visited India as part of an ITEC Executive Program and met with Secretary East Vijay Thakur Singh and DG ICCR Akhilesh Mishra. The first special course for diplomats from Dominican Republic was conducted by SSIFS in November 2020 and second one followed on 21 June 2021.
15) Present FM Roberto Alvarez Gil had a telephonic call with EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar in November 2020. EAM Dr. S Jaishankar met Foreign Minister of DR Roberto Alvarez Gil on 21 September 2021 on the sidelines of UNGA. EAM suggested the DR FM to work out a specific area where DR would need technical cooperation.
Trade and Economic Cooperation
16) Bilateral trade between India and the Dominican Republic has increased significantly in last few years, with balance of trade in favor of DR. Two way trade increased to USD 782.36 million by the end of 2019. Main items of India’s exports are cotton textiles and readymade garments, drugs and pharmaceuticals, furniture, transport equipment, manufactures of metals, chemicals, plastic and linoleum products, tea, processed foods and marine products. Gold accounts for 70% of DR exports to India. An agreement between the drug regulatory authorities of India and DR is under negotiation with the idea of further promoting pharmaceutical trade.
ITEC and Bilateral Assistance
17) Under the ITEC programme, the Government of India has been offering annual slots to the Dominican Republic for training in various institutions in India since 1999. DR is also being offered slots under PCFD programme run by the SSIFS. A large quantity of life saving drugs worth USD 50, 000 was donated to the DR Foreign Minister in March 2006. The donation was very well appreciated by the DR Government. There had been widespread damage to life and property in Dominican Republic due the Tropical Storm Noel in Oct-Nov 2007. Upon the official request of the Government of Dominican Republic, India donated the medicines as humanitarian assistance.
18) In April 2020, India had donated 200,000 tablets of Hydroxychloroquine to the DR. India again donated second tranche of 536 boxes of medicines weighing 7170 kgs and Protective gears to DR. Honorary Consul Mr Tony Lama officially handed over the medical aid to then Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas. The donation included antibiotics, analgesics, antiviral, vitamins, diuretics, surgical gowns and gloves, as well as sampling tubes, swabs and thermometers, among other supplies. Vargas thanked, in particular, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and EAM S Jaishankar, for deepening the ties of friendship between the two countries through cooperation.
19) Under the Vaccine Maitri Initiative, SII (Serum Institute of India) supplied 20,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to DR in February 2021 as part of a commercial deal between the DR Government and SII which was received by the Vice President and Head of Health Cabinet Ms. Raquel Pena. Second and final tranche of 90,000 doses of vaccines are reaching DR on 17 January 2022. Separately on 18 February 2021, India donated 30,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to DR.
20) A classical dance exponent in the Dominican Republic received an ICCR scholarship in 2002 to attend a course in Mohiniyattam in Kalamandalam, Kerala. An exhibition on Gandhi was organized at the Global Foundation in May 2006 and in Colegio Mahatma Gandhi in September 2006. Fifteen DR professionals are working for IVY Comptech, a BPO company based in Hyderabad.
21) ‘Living Arts’ an ICCR sponsored Rajasthani Dance Troupe visited Dominican Republic from 2-7 October 2008. This was the first cultural visit at Government level.
22) An 8-member martial arts group “Hindustani Kalari Sangam” from Kerala sponsored by ICCR, performed two shows in Santo Domingo on November 8-9, 2010 in collaboration with the DR Government and the Dominican Ministry of Culture. Bilateral CEA was signed in August 2012. Indian food festivals were held in Santo Domingo in October, 2013 and March and October, 2014. Indian Film Festival was organized on DR Television during April 2014 and from 11-23 August 2016 by the Directorate General of Cinema of DR. A Rajasthani folk dance troupe performed in DR in February, 2015.
23) On the occasion of 70th Anniversary of India’s Independence, the Embassy of India in collaboration with the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), organized a Food Festival from 6-10 August 2017 at Embassy Suites, Hilton, Santo Domingo. Ministry of Culture, Government of India sponsored a 9-member Kathak dance group led by Ms. Shubhada Dubey and they performed on 12th August 2017 in Santo Domingo. In addition, Embassy also organized a Photographic Exhibition on the ‘Heritage Architecture of India’ in Santo Domingo from 7-27 August 2017.
24) Earlier, a 10-member Kathak group led by Ms. Shovana Narayan performed at Bellas Artes Theater, Santo Domingo on 28th March 2017. The group was sponsored by ICCR.
25) The Indian community in DR with the support of the Indian Embassy in Havana have regularly celebrated International Day of Yoga including the latest edition on 21st June 2021 in Santo Domingo. DR had also participated in a big way in celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The government of Dominican Republic launched a stamp commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at the Foreign Ministry in Santo Domingo in August 2019. Around 20,000 copies of this stamp were printed as a Dominican Republic stamp.
26) At present, there are about 50 Indian nationals and people of Indian origin living in the country. Some of them are working as engineers, software experts or representing Indian companies. Several businesspersons also form part of the community. Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthy has a following in the Dominican Republic along with those of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living Foundation.