South-South Cooperation: India and Dominican Republic to deepen ties in Space, Defence, AI and Trade

The two countries have agreed to deepen cooperation in various sectors including space exploration, satellite data management, artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, information and communication technologies and more.

s jaishankar with President Luis Abinader
EAM S Jaishankar with President Luis Abinader. (Photo source: India Mission)

India and the Dominican Republic have agreed to expand good practices and more technical exchanges in the context of South-South Cooperation. The two countries have agreed to deepen cooperation in various sectors including space exploration, satellite data management, artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, information and communication technologies and more. Also, for the first time India will include the Caribbean nation into the ITEC-Defense Scheme under which the armed forces personnel of that country will get trained at various military training institutes in the country.

These decisions were taken at the end of bilateral talks between external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar and his counterpart Roberto Alvarez in Santo Domingo, the capital city of Dominican Republic (DR) over the weekend. The meeting between the two ministers was in the framework of the High Level Political Dialogue which focused on bilateral, regional as well as international issues.

Jaishankar and Roberto Alvarez jointly inaugurated the Indian Mission which was opened in 2022.  Present during the ceremony were Raquel Pena, Vice President of the Dominican Republic, Eduardo Estrella, President of the Senate of the Dominican Republic and other cabinet ministers.

Both sides inked framework agreements related to the field of Higher Education, and MoUs related to trade and Health.

The possibility of a future visit to India was discussed when Jaishankar paid a courtesy call to President of the Dominican Republic Luis Abinader.

The mission in the Caribbean nation was opened up in an effort to further enhance India’s presence in the region and to also explore new markets for exports. Ramu Abbagani is the first ambassador of India to be heading the Indian mission there and in a rare gesture he got a chance to present his credentials to President Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona, just within three days of his arrival in Santo Domingo.

DR already has its mission in New Delhi and India’s mission in that country reflects the deep ties between the two countries which have been getting stronger since 1999.

Jaishankar and his counterpart Roberto Alvarez also talked about expanding trade and also to promote investments in various sectors through exchange of business delegation on a regular basis. And to bring the private sector of both countries closer together, in their presence a MoU was signed between the National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP) and the industry body CII.

Higher Education

The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, and Technology (MESCYT) of DR, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Delhi), International Institute of Information Technology (IIT-Bangalore) were signed in the presence of the two ministers. These will help the students of the Caribbean nation to pursue their master’s and doctoral degrees in various areas including mathematics, engineering, science and technology. And they agreed to promote DR as a destination for Indian students for higher education.

According to a joint statement issued at the end of talks, the two countries lvarez finalised negotiations on the various agreements including: Protocol on Joint Economic and Trade Cooperation (JETCO) between the Ministry of Commerce & Industry of India, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of DR; a MoU between the Central Drug Control Organization of India (CDSCO) and the General Directorate of Medicines, Food, and Health Products of the Dominican Republic (DIGEMAPS); a MoU between the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Ministry of AYUSH, of India; Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena (UNPHU) on the establishment of an ‘Academic Chair’ at the university.

Renewable Energy & More

In the context of the International Solar Alliance and within the framework of the bilateral agreement the two countries had signed in 2015, India and Dominican Republic will work jointly to promote renewable energy. And also reaffirmed their willingness to work together in various fields – strengthen capacities in the areas of marine science, meteorology, fight against climate change, risk management, prevention, early warning systems, and more.

To cooperatively address major global challenges and ensure higher levels of equity, both sides reaffirmed the importance of multilateralism, and also emphasized the need for urgent and comprehensive reforms of the UN Security Council.

As tangible signs of friendship between the people of both sides, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was established in Santo Domingo and a pavilion dedicated to India at Faro a Colon Museum was also inaugurated.

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First published on: 01-05-2023 at 15:25 IST