India-Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) Bilateral Relations
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India-Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) Bilateral Relations

India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) in April 1995. India’s relations with the RMI are covered from Japan with the Indian Ambassador to Japan being concurrently accredited to the RMI.

Former President Kesai Note had visited India over a decade ago, as a member of an inter-parliamentary delegation (in his capacity as the Speaker of the Parliament). RMI supported India for a non-permanent seat of the UNSC for the year 2011-12. It also supported G-4 short resolution on UNSC reforms. RMI has extended support for India’s candidatures to ICJ, India’s re-election to Council of IMO, India’s re-election to Executive Board of UNESCO for 2017-21.

RMI’s Minister for Public Works Hiroshi Yamamura accompanied by Mr. Jemi Nashion, CEO, Tobolar Copra Processing Authority of RMI, visited Kochi from 3-5 February 2015 for the 51st Asia Pacific Coconut Community Session/Ministerial Meeting.

FIPIC II Summit: The Second Forum of India-Pacific Island Cooperation was held in India from 19-21 August 2015 and the summit was organized in Jaipur on 21 August 2015. Then President Christopher Loek attended the 2nd FIPIC Summit.

Recent Visits: RMI Ambassador Tom D. Kijiner [residence in Tokyo] presented his credentials to President Shri Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on 18 March 2015. Ambassador Sujan R. Chinoy presented his credentials to the RMI President Hilda C. Heine on 18 March 2016 in Majuro. During the visit, he also held bilateral meetings with Foreign Minister John M. Silk; Minister in Assistance of President Mattlan Zackhras; Speaker of Nitijela (Parliament); Minister of Health Kalani Kaneko and Minister of Education Wilbur Heine. Indian Navy Ship Satpura visited Majuro from 13-15 August 2016. This was the first ever visit of an Indian Navy ship to the Island country after participating in the RIMPAC in the Pacific Ocean.

Bilateral Trade: Give the constraints of distance and small size of the market, there is very little trade between India and RMI. India exported goods worth USD 101.91 million in 2015-16 up from USD 0.12 million in 2014-15. India also imported goods worth 0.41 million in 2015-16 up from 0.01 million in 2014-15. The predominant commodity is mineral oil and related products while pharma and drugs are also exported to Marshall Islands.

Training Programme / Scholarship: Indian assistance in capacity building in the areas of health and education has been welcomed by RMI. Ministry has been offering five ITEC slots annually to RMI. While it has managed to utilize one slot in 2005-06 and 206-07, RMI had failed to utilize the allotted slots since then. RMI sent two diplomats for FSI training Course for Diplomats from Pacific Island Countries conducted in January 2011. Two diplomats from RMI successfully participated in the FSI training course for Diplomats from Pacific Island Countries from 10-15 May 2015 in Palau. In FY 2015-16, three RMI students have availed of ITEC scholar ship. They underwent training at National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurugram for International Programme on solar Energy Technologies & applications; APTECH, New Delhi for Certificate of Proficiency in Graphic & Web Designing; and Centre for Excellence in Telecom Technology & Management, Mumbai for Multi-Protocol Label Switching Technologies respectively. For FY 2016-17 3 RMI women are undergoing ITEC Training for “Solar Mama” in Barefoot College, Ajmer.

Bilateral Assistance: Indian Government provided assistance of USD 242,500 in 2005 for purchase of solar panels and two-way radio sets for Outer Islands Health Centre for the Ministry of Health. In 2008, India provided USD 100,000 for Solar Powered Street Lights. Government of India provided two mini vans and computer (plus communication equipment) in 2013 to the tune of USD 1,63,000. In 2013, India also provided USD 100,000 as disaster relief for the drought in RMI. In January 2015, India provided the grant-in- aid of USD 100,570.00 for funding RMI’s first National Export Strategy. In the Fiscal Year 2015-16, India provided USD 150,000/- special grant for organizing the Annual Pacific Islands Leader’s Summit in Majuro, RMI. A grant of USD 199,680/- for Atoll Community Coral and Calm Project and a grant of USD 100,000/- for Disaster Relief and Recovery were presented by the Ambassador of India Mr. Sujan R. Chinoy during his visit to Majuro for the credential presentation. A financial assistance of US$ 200,000/- sanctioned for Majuro Atoll Local Government for “Solar Refrigeration Project” under GoI’s Annual grant-in-aid programme for FY 2017-18 was handed over by MoS Gen. (DR) V.K. Singh (Retd) on the sidelines of India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference which was held in Fiji from 29-26 May 2017.

Indians: As of now, there are about 8 families of Indian origin, including a medical doctor working at the Majuro Hospital. Indians are also engaged in clothing, automobiles and solar power business.

Useful Resources

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