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International Relations

Indian Missions in Estonia, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic

  • 31 Dec 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The Union Cabinet has approved the opening of 3 Indian Missions in Estonia, Paraguay and Dominican Republic in 2021.

Key Points

  • Objective:
    • To build a conducive environment for India’s growth and development through partnerships with friendly countries.
  • Expected Benefits:
    • Opening of Indian Missions in these countries will help expand India’s diplomatic footprint, deepen political relations, enable growth of bilateral trade, investment and economic engagements, facilitate stronger people-to-people contacts, bolster political outreach in multilateral fora and help garner support for India’s foreign policy objectives.
    • Indian missions in these countries will also better assist the Indian community and protect their interests.
    • Enhancement of India’s diplomatic presence will, inter-alia, provide market access for Indian companies and bolster Indian exports of goods and services.
      • This would have a direct impact in augmenting domestic production and employment in line with the goal of a self-reliant India or ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
  • Relations with the 3 Countries:
    • Estonia:
      • It is the northernmost of the three Baltic states.
        • Baltic states, northeastern region of Europe containing the countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea.
        • The Baltic region is not rich in natural resources. Though Estonia is an important producer of oil shale, a large share of mineral and energy resources is imported.
      • It welcomed the decision saying it would strengthen ties in trade and cybersecurity in particular.
        • The decision had been awaited since 2013, when Estonia set up its embassy in Delhi, while India has dealt with it through its embassy in neighbouring Finland.
      • India and Estonia will also serve together in the Security Council next year.
      • There is significant room for enhanced economic engagement in information technology, cyber security, e-governance and block chain.
        • Total bilateral trade in 2018-19 was 172.53 USD million, an increase of 22.5% from 2017-18.
    • Paraguay:
      • It is a landlocked country in south-central South America.
      • Rivers provide access to the Atlantic Ocean and serve as sites for the hydroelectric power plants that have made Paraguay one of the world’s largest exporters of hydropower.
      • Paraguay is a member of MERCOSUR.
        • The Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR for its Spanish initials) is a regional integration process, initially established by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and subsequently joined by Venezuela and Bolivia.
        • India has a preferential trade agreement with MERCOSUR.
      • It had set up its mission in Delhi in 2006.
      • For the fiscal year 2018-19, India’s exports to Paraguay were valued at USD 161 million, while Paraguay’s exports to India were valued at USD 21 million. Soybean oil accounts for over 90% of Paraguay’s exports to India.
    • Dominican Republic:
      • It is a country of the West Indies that occupies the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola, the second largest island of the Greater Antilles chain in the Caribbean Sea.
      • It had set up its mission in Delhi in 2006.
      • India’s exports to the Dominican Republic are small but growing. Bilateral two way trade stands at around USD 120 million.
      • 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.

Source: TH

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