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International Relations

India And Belarus

  • 18 Jul 2022
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: India-Belarus, UNSC, NSG, NAM

For Mains: Indian Belarus Relations and Way Forward

Why in News?

India congratulated Belarus for celebrating its 78 years of Independence on 3rd July 2022.

How Has Been India-Belarus Relations?

  • Diplomatic Relations:
    • India’s relations with Belarus have been traditionally warm and cordial.
    • India was one of the first countries to recognize Belarus as an independent country in 1991 after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
  • Supports at Multilateral Fora:
  • Comprehensive Partnership:
    • The two countries enjoy a comprehensive partnership and have established mechanisms for exchanging views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues through Foreign Office Consultations (FOC), Intergovernmental Commission (IGC), and Joint Commission on Military Technical Cooperation.
    • The two countries have signed a number of Agreements/MoUs on various subjects, including trade and economic cooperation, culture, education, media and sports, tourism, science & technology, agriculture, textiles, Avoidance of Double Taxation, Promotion and Protection of Investments, and defence and technical cooperation.
  • Trade and Commerce:
    • In the economic sector, the annual bilateral trade turnover in 2019 stands at USD 569.6 million.
    • India’s special gesture in 2015 that granted Belarus the Market Economy Status and a USD 100 million Line of Credit has also helped in the growth in the economic sector.
      • Market Economy status is a status conferred on the country exporting the goods accepted as the benchmark. Prior to this status, country is considered as a Non-Market Economy (NME).
    • India’s encouragement to the Belarusian businessmen to invest in ‘Make in India’ projects are bearing fruits.
  • Indian Diaspora:
    • The Indian Community in Belarus consists of around 112 Indian nationals and 906 Indian students pursuing studies in medicine in State medical universities in Belarus.
    • Indian art and culture, dance, yoga, ayurveda, films, etc. remain popular among Belarusian nationals.
      • Many young Belarusians also take keen interest in learning Hindi and dance forms of India.

Way Forward

  • Taking into account the gradual shift of the global geopolitical and geo-economic center of gravity to Asia, cooperation with India creates additional opportunities for international trade and investment.
  • Belarus needs several footholds in Asia diversified by geographical subregions. India could become one of such pillars in South Asia, but Belarusian initiatives should definitely fall into the “matrix” of India’s national interests and sacred meanings.
  • There are also certain hidden reserves for cooperation in the field of cybersecurity. Belarus may become an “entry point” for Indian pharmaceutical companies to the Eurasian market.
  • The potential of military and technical cooperation, including shared developments, has not been fully disclosed. Cinema (Bollywood) could stimulate the interest of the Indian business community and tourists.
  • An additional increase in the export of tourism and medical services could be ensured by recreational centers to be established in Belarus based on Indian traditional medicine models (Ayurveda + Yoga).
  • The drivers of bilateral cooperation could be the interaction of the leading “think tanks” of Belarus and India.
  • To increase mutual interest, establishing new innovative growth points and encouraging breakthrough ideas and active expert diplomacy communication is of prime importance. The drivers of bilateral cooperation could be the interaction of the leading “think tanks” of Belarus and India.
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