India-Haiti Bilateral Relations
Embassy of India
India-Haiti Bilateral Relations
India’s relations with Haiti have been friendly, though interaction between the two countries has been limited. India established diplomatic relations with Haiti on 27 September 1996. Our High Commission in Kingston, Jamaica was concurrently accredited to Haiti. Since late 2003, the accreditation has been transferred to Embassy of India, Havana. India has an Honorary Consul in Port-Au-Prince. Haiti appointed a Consul General in New Delhi in October, 2014.
2. An MOU for Foreign Office Consultations was signed on May 31, 2001. India had shown concern for the needs of Haiti even before the establishment of diplomatic relations. It had sent a 140 member CRPF troops to Haiti on a peace mission under the auspices of United Nations in August 1995. The role of the Indian contingent in providing police protection and maintaining law and order was highly appreciated.
3. In October 2008, a 140-member Formed Police Unit (FPU) from India joined the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to help with international efforts to ensure a safe environment in Haiti. Now, there are three units drawn from BSF, CISF and Assam Rifles (approx. 500 personnel) as part of MINUSTAH. In order to continue to assist the Government of Haiti to consolidate peace, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) in Haiti for one year upto 15th October 2016.
4. Haitian Minister of Economy and Finance, Mme. Carmelle Jean Marie visited India from 14th-17th October, 2014 to attend FICCI-LAC Conclave and called on Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry and Secretary (ER). Haitian Health Minister, Dr. Marie L. Florence Duperwal visited Delhi to attend the “Third Global Call to Action Summit”, from 25-29 August, 2015. She also called on Minister of Health & Family Welfare where, inter alia, she sought India’s cooperation in Haitian health sector. Under IBSA Trilateral Initiative, a Solid Waste Management Project was inaugurated in Haiti in December 2007 .This project endeavors to generate employment to the masses and is in line with IBSA guidelines in general and with India’s objectives for South-South Co-operation in particular. Recognising the need to provide basic amenities – shelter, drinking water and sanitation to the Haitian people, India joined Brazil and South Africa in expanding IBSA, the India-Brazil-South Africa, Trust Fund’s waste management project in Haiti, both in its area of coverage and scope of handling different types of waste. IBSA is spending over US$ 2 million in this effort and for reconstruction of a community health centre in Haiti.
5. India’s trade with Haiti is small but Indian exports to the country have been growing in recent years. The latest trade figures between India-Haiti are as follows:
Values in US $ Millions
Source: Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce
6. The main Indian products exported are pharmaceuticals goods, textiles, rubber products and cosmetics and plastic and linoleum products. There is potential for further growth, particularly in the areas of drugs and pharmaceuticals. Indian companies manufacturing anti-retroviral drugs have a market in Haiti. Cost competitive nature of Indian drugs for treatment of AIDS etc. have been noted. India has granted duty free access to Haitian products as a special gesture to a Least Development Country
7. ITEC: India has been offering assistance to Haiti under ITEC programme. It started with one slot in 2006-2007, which has been increased to 10 for 2015-16. Haitian diplomats have also been taking advantage of Professional Course for Foreign Diplomats (PCFD) courses at regular intervals. Four Haitian illiterate women received training at the Barefoot College in Rajasthan in harvesting solar power.
8. Disaster Relief: As a symbol of friendship, in October 2008, India granted an ₹ Ten Million in cash as disaster relief assistance to Haiti in the wake of devastation caused by the four Hurricanes Fay, Hanna, Gustav and Ike. India donated medicines worth US $ 50000 as humanitarian assistance to Haiti for the damage caused by Hurricane Noel in November 2007. Another US $ 5 million relief assistance was given in January 2010. A relief of US $ 500,000 annually for three years till 2011 has also been provided. India also offered to re-construct a main office building which was damaged in January 2010 earthquake. The new President requested that dwelling units may be developed by India instead of reconstruction of a government building. Accordingly cash assistance of US $ 5 million was given to construct a Gandhi Housing village. MOS (ST), Dr. Shashi Tharoor, who visited Port-Au-Prince on 23 January, 2010, following the 12 January 2010 earthquake, announced the assistance.
9. Indian community in Haiti is small. It comprises approximately 70-80 members. Almost all of them are Indian passport holders. Several of them are professionals, – doctors, engineers, technicians. Some are into private business- scrap metal trade. There are a few priests and some 15-20 Sisters working for Charity. There are three Police Units comprising of 500 Indian personnel under the UN Peacekeeping Force (MINUSTAH) since 2008.