India-Suriname Relations
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Bilateral Brief


1. India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Suriname with historical linkages dating back to 149 years. Soon after Suriname’s Independence on November 25, 1975, India established diplomatic relations in 1976 and opened its Embassy in Paramaribo in 1977. The Suriname Embassy, however, started functioning in New Delhi from March 2000.

2. Suriname is a country with a huge diaspora population. A coalition government led by a largely Indian origin party assumed power in Suriname in July 2020. The current President of Suriname H.E. Mr. Chandrikapersad Santokhi is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO). He was the chief guest at PBD 2021 held virtually on 9 Jan 2021. He is also a recipient of Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award 2021 for Public Service.

3. The President of India, H.E. Mrs Droupadi Murmu visited Suriname from 04-06 June 2023. It was her maiden state visit abroad. The visit to Suriname was at the invitation extended by President Santokhi inviting President Murmu to attend the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Suriname as the Chief Guest. During her visit, President Murmu was accompanied by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Rural Development, Smt. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Smt. Rama Devi, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, and a high-level official delegation. The President was received at the Airport by President Santokhi with military honours. At a ceremony held at the Presidential Palace on 5 June 2023, President Murmu was conferred with the highest civilian honour of Suriname ‘Grand Order of the Chain of the Yellow Star’ by the President of Suriname. On 5 June 2023, the President witnessed a re-enactment of arrival of Lalla Rookh boat at Marinetrap, inaugurated a simulation village at the Independence Square. The President announced the Government of India’s decision of extending the eligibility criteria for OCI Card up from the fourth generation to the sixth ageneration of those original Indian immigrants who had arrived in Suriname from Indian territories. The President also attended a luncheon banquet hosted in her honour by the President of Suriname. In her banquet speech, President Murmu underlined India's approach of an inclusive world order that is sensitive to legitimate interests and concerns of every country and region. She said that it was in this spirit of solidarity that India extended a helping hand to more than 100 countries during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The President visited and garlanded the Baba Mai statue, laid wreath at Mama Sranan and paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi statue in Paramaribo. The President of India along withPresident Santokhi of Suriname, witnessed a cultural festival on the occasion of the commemoration of 150 years of the arrival of Indians in Suriname in the evening of June 5, 2023 and addressed the gathering at the Independence Square of Paramaribo. The following documents were signed and exchanged by Amb Dr. Shankar Balachandran in the presence of both Presidents.

(i) An MoU between Central Drugs Standard Control Organization of India (CDSCO) and Ministry of Health of Suriname for cooperation in the field of medical products regulation.

(ii) An MoU between Ministries of Health of India and Suriname for extending recognition to Indian pharmacopeia

(iii) A Joint Work plan for the period 2023-27 in Agriculture and Allied sectors

(iv) Handing over a book on Indian Pharmacopeia

On 6th June 2023, the President visited Lalla Rookh Museum and Monument of “Gevallen Helden 1902 at Marienburg and attended a meeting of the Inter Religions Council of Suriname. The President visited two important Indian temples, Arya Diwaker and Vishnu Mandir of Sanatana Dharma Mahasabha and also made a donation of USD 25000/- to each of these two organizations.

In the evening of 6th June, 2023, concluding her visit to Suriname, the President addressed the members of Indian Community and friends of India at a Reception hosted by the Ambassador of India to Suriname, Dr. Shankar Balachandran. The President was given a warm send off from Paramaribo for Belgrade - the final leg of her State Visit to Suriname and Serbia.

Visits from India

4. Hon’ble President of India paid a state visit to Suriname from June 19-21, 2018 at the invitation of the President of Suriname with a high level delegation including Mr. Vishnu Deo Sai, Minister of State for Steel. Five MOUs were signed on establishing a Centre for IT Excellence, Cooperation between the electoral authorities, National Archives, Cooperation between diplomatic Institutes and Remunerative employment of dependents of the diplomatic personnel of the two countries. Two LOC agreements on EBS transmission line for US$ 27.5mn and maintenance of Chetak helicopters for US$ 3.5 million were also signed during the visit.

5. An Indian Parliamentary Delegation led by Shri Om Birla, Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) comprising of three Hon’ble Members of Parliament, Smt Veena Devi (Lok Sabha), Shri Ravi Kishan(Lok Sabha) and Shri KR Suresh Reddy(Rajya Sabha- Upper House) visited Suriname from 28-31 August 2022.

The following MoUs/ Documents were signed during the visit:

(i) An MoU between the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Suriname Standards Bureau (SSB).

(ii) An MoU between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India and the Ministry of Health of Suriname on cooperation in the field of health and medicine

(iii)  An MoU between the Secretariat of Lok Sabha of the Republic of India and the Secretariat of the National Assembly of Suriname on cooperation between both parliaments

(iv) A Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between the Government of India and the Government of Suriname.

6. Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen (Retd) V.K.Singh visited Suriname in April 2017 for holding the 6th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM).

Visits from Suriname

7. The then Vice President, Mr. Ashwin Adhin in Jan 2017 as a Special Guest for Youth Pravasi Bharitya Divas, held in Bengaluru during January 06-09, 2017.

8. Nine PIO Members of Parliament led by President Santokhi in his then capacity as a Member of the National Assembly participated in the first PIO Parliamentarian Conference held in New Delhi on Jan 09, 2018

9. The then Vice President, Mr. Ashwin Adhin in March 2018 to participate in the ISA Founding Conference.

10. Mr. Lekhram Soerdjan, the then Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries in Oct 2018 to attend the ISA Conference in New Delhi.

11. The Defence Minister of Suriname, Ms. Krishnakoemarie Mathoera along with Lt. Col. Mangal, Chief of Staff participated in the DefExpo-2022 from 17-21 October 2022 held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

12. The Minister of Natural Resources of Suriname, Mr. David Abiamofo along with Ms Valerie Lalji, Official in the Ministry of Natural resources travelled to India to attend the 5th Assembly of International Solar Alliance’ in New Delhi, India from 17 – 21 October 2022.

13. At the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, the President of the Republic of Suriname, H.E. Mr. Chandrikapersad Santokhi along with the first Lady, the Foreign Minister H.E. Amb Albert Ramchand Ramdin, Dr. Dew Sharman, Hon'ble Vice Chairman of the National Assembly and the other members of the delegation visited India on a seven day official visit from 07.01.2023 -13.01.2023.

The President began the tour by offering prayers at Somnath Temple and visited Jamnagar Refinery and Petrochemicals complex of Reliance Industries Limited on the 7 January 2023. He was given a ceremonial welcome at the Jamnagar Airport with Hon’ble Minister of State, Shri Jagdish Vishwakarma accompanying the dignitaries all through the visit of Gujarat. Thereafter, the President left for Indore where he was received by the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister. Dr. S. Jaishankar, Hon’ble External Affairs Minister called on the President on 8 January 2023 for a bilateral meeting. They discussed enhancing India and Suriname relationship in the economic, culture, capacity building and people to people domains. On 8 January 2023, the Presidential delegation visited Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain. On 9 January 2023, the President addressed the diaspora at the inauguration ceremony of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2023 as the special guest of honour. On 9 January 2023, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi met the President H.E. Mr. Chandrikapersad Santokhi on the sidelines of 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD). In their meeting, both leaders held discussions on cooperation in areas of mutual interest including hydrocarbons, defence, maritime security, digital initiatives and ICT, and capacity building. Suriname appreciated restructuring by India of Suriname’s debt arising from Lines of Credit availed by Suriname. On 10 January 2023, President Santokhi met the Hon’ble President of India Smt. Murmu at Indore on the sidelines of 17th PBD Convention. Both leaders discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations and advance cooperation in trade, energy, technology and culture. The Indian President wished success for celebrations commemorating 150th anniversary of arrival of Indians in Suriname. Dr. Dewanchandrebhose Sharman, Hon'ble Vice Chairman of the National Assembly of Suriname received a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) for Community Welfare from the Hon'ble President of India on 10th January 2023. President Santokhi delivered the keynote address at the Madhya Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023 on 11th January 2023 in the presence of captains of industries both Indian and foreign. President Santokhi then left Indore for Ahmedabad on 11th January 2023. He was given a warm welcome. On 12 January 2023, he visited the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER). He then had a luncheon meeting with Acharya Devvrat, Hon’ble Governor of Gujarat and thereafter chaired a business event organized by the Economic Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and concluded his Ahmedabad visit by visiting the festival site where the centenary celebrations of Pramukh Swami Maharaj were being held.

On 13th January, 2023, the President had bilateral meetings with the representatives of Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Foods, Fats and Fertilizer Ltd (FFF), Industrial Boilers Ltd., Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad(ARSP),  Bajaj Process Pac. Ltd, Brijbasi Ltd. & Jain Irrigation. He also visited Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) Headquarters and met the BJP President.

President Santokhi addressed the Concluding Leaders' Session of the Voice of the Global South Summit on 13th January 2023 virtually from New Delhi.

On 14th January, 2023 the President was given a warm send off from Delhi.

14. H.E. Mr. Parmanand Sewdien, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Suriname visited India from 18-21 March 2023 to attend the first Global Conference of the International Year of Millets (IYM).

15. H.E. Mr. Steven Mac Andrew, Minister of Spatial Planning & Environment visited India from 08-10 April 2023 to attend the launch of “ International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) and Commemoration of 50 years of Project Tiger” in Mysuru.

16. The Government of India has approved 19 projects under Quick Impact Projects. The umbrella agreement on QIP was signed on 10.03.2023 and individual MoUs for each of the five priority projects was signed on 17.03.2023. The five projects are under implementation.

17. H.E. Mrs. Rishma Kuldipsingh, Minister of Economic Affairs, Entrepreneurship and Technological innovations visited India from 12-14 June 2023 to attend the Global Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) Summit in Pune.



18. The External Affairs Minister of India (EAM) Dr. S. Jaishankar met Ambassador Albert Ramdin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation during the India-COFCOR Meeting in Guyana on 21 April 2023.

19. Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Minister of Finance met Mr. Armand Achaibersing, Suriname Finance Minister at IMF HQ on 20-04-2022.

20. The External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar met Ambassador Albert Ramdin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation during the 4th India-CARICOM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held on the sidelines of UNGA in New York on 23 September 2022.

21. The then Vice President Shri M Venkaiah Naidu met with the then Vice President of Suriname Mr. Ashwin Adhin  on September 09, 2018 on the margins of World Hindu Congress in Chicago  and  discussed  bilateral relations including  trade, investment, developmental cooperation and people to people contacts between the two countries.

22. The then EAM held a bilateral meeting with Ms Yldiz Pollack Beighle, the then Foreign Minister of Suriname on the sidelines of 73 rd UNGA in New York on September 26, 2018.

Developmental partnerships

23. MEA sanctioned a grant of US$ 3,11, 567.21 in 2015-16 for upgrading of the S' Lands Hospital morgue in Paramaribo.

24. MEA sanctioned a sum of US$ 1,69,400/- in 2015-16 as an assistance to the Institute for Natural Resources and Engineering Studies (NATIN) of Suriname.

25. General (Dr) V.K. Singh handed over a cheque of US$150,000 to the Government of Suriname as a humanitarian assistance for the rehabilitation of the victims of devastating flood in Suriname during his visit to Suriname in April, 2017.

26. A grant of US$ 29,988/- was provided to the Surinamese government for school going children- a community development project in August, 2017 and US$ 35,402 for annual Christmas celebration with senior citizens organized by the Bureau of the First Lady during 2017-18.

27. Two small grant projects for Community development and women entrepreneurship were announced during the visit of the President of India in June 2018 namely Craft Market place at Paramaribo for US$ 175,602 and every student a computer for US$ 109,800 (for 200 computers) and executed. The first lady of India donated US$ 10, 000 to Mytyl School (special needs school) as charity.

28. The Govt. of India provided a cash assistance of US$ 50,000/- to the Government of Suriname for flood victims of the interiors in August 2018.

29. The Govt. of India provided as a token of solidarity lifesaving drugs and protective gear worth US$ 100000 to the Govt. of Suriname to assist in its fight against Covid 19 pandemic handed over to the President in August, 2020. As a gesture of solidarity, GoI donated 50000 doses of Made in India Covishield vaccine to Suriname on March 2, 2021.

30. The Government of India has approved 19 projects under Quick Impact Projects. The umbrella agreement on QIP was signed on 10.03.2023 and individual MoUs for each of the five priority projects was signed on 17.03.2023.

31. US$ 1 million grant for each CariCom member-State for community development projects under India-UNDP Fund was announced by PM Modi during India-CariCom meeting at HoS/G level on September 25, 2019. Under this grant, one project submitted by Suriname side titled as 'Enhance early warning service delivery to communities of Suriname in order to build their resilience to flooding due to excess rainfall’ bearing a tentative cumulative cost of US$ 246,852.71 has been approved.

32. The Government of India has donated essential medicines worth over USD 600,000/- to Suriname as a disaster relief assistance. The President handed over a symbolic box of medicine to President Santokhi. The full consignment was received by BGVS in Suriname on August 04, 2023. The Cabinet of the President organized a formal ceremony to acknowledge India’s contribution on 7 August 2023. The Ambassador Dr.Shankar Balachandran handed over a box from the consignment to the President of the Republic of Suriname, H.E. Mr. Chandrikapersad Santokhi in the presence of H.E. Dr.Amar Ramadhin, Hon’ble Minister of Public Health of Suriname, Dr.Maaltie Sardjoe, Chief of BGVS and some members of the Suriname and Indian community.


33. Trade and economic links between India and Suriname have been modest. Indian exports to Suriname consist of boilers, machinery, iron & steel, electrical machinery & equipment, sound recorders, pharmaceutical products, textiles, vehicles, coffee, tea and spices, rubber, paper, tobacco, organic chemicals, furniture, carpets, ceramic products, footwear and printed books; Indian imports mainly consist of wood as also aluminum and electrical machinery. The trade figures between the two countries during the last three years are given below:-



Financial Year

Export to Suriname-India (US$ Million)

Import from Suriname (US$ Million)

Total Bilateral Trade

(US$ Million)






















2023-24 (Apr-May)




Source: Department of Commerce, GoI, New Delhi.

34. Two Indian Companies M/s Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited India and M/s Transrail are currently executing EPC projects for power transmission in Suriname.Some infra-related companies (Garuda Group, Vijay Electricals Limited and Kanha Engineering) have recently opened offices here.

35. An agreement to set up a Joint Commission was signed in September 1992 and seven JCMs have been held so far as per the following details:

1. November, 1994 in New Delhi.

2. April, 1999 in Paramaribo

3. November, 2004 in New Delhi

4. May, 2008 in Paramaribo

5. January, 2015 in New Delhi

6. April, 2017 in Paramaribo

7. Dec 2020 in Delhi (virtual)  

36. There is also a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Agriculture between the two countries. As a follow up to a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of agriculture which was signed on 7 March 2003, the first ever meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) of Experts from both sides was held in New Delhi on 28 July 2014. The Second Meeting of Joint Working Group was held virtually on 29 December 2022 with Paramaribo as the host.

37. The first meeting of a Joint Business Council was held virtually on 30 December 2022 between India and Suriname. The meeting was led by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) from the Indian side and Suriname Investment & Trade Agency (SITA) from the Suriname side.


38. Suriname is an ITEC partner country. 42 ITEC slots and one ICCR Scholarship slot were allotted for Suriname for Financial year 2022-2023. Till date, 505 Surinamese have benefited from ITEC. In addition, two Surinamese senior officers participated in a special training programme for CariCom mid-level/senior customs officers under ITEC in June 2019. Till date, over 200 Surinamese diaspora have benefited from various programmes/scholarships of GoI including 161 Surinamese from Know India Programme, 26 under Special Know India Programme (for middle-aged diaspora), one availed of SPDC scholarship for pharmacy during 2018-19, two Surinamese joined the Agra Hindi Sansthan in 2019 and three post graduate/undergraduate courses under ICCR/AYUSH scholarship.


39. India extends OCI( Overseas Citizenship of India) facility to PIOs of Suriname.

40. With effect from 01 July 2022, Suriname unilaterally exempted the visa requirements for nationals of all countries including Indian nationals who travel to Suriname for tourism purposes and family visits with an entry fee of US$ 25/- or Euros 25/- and a stay up to 90 days. The Visa requirement for citizens of 21 countries including Indian nationals, was reintroduced w.e.f. 01 May 2023.

Diaspora/Indian community

41. Currently, 27.4% population of 541,638 (Census 2012) of Suriname is Hindustani and less than 50 non-resident Indians (NRIs). In spite of the vast geographical distance, different time zones and cultural differences between their adopted countries and their country of origin, the Indian diaspora who arrived in Suriname 149 years ago (1873) never disconnected themselves with their roots. While fully assimilating with the local culture, they continued to cherish, uphold and pass down from one generation to another their traditions, rites and rituals, cuisine, language, folklore etc. and have made a significant contribution in all spheres to the sustainable development of Suriname. Suriname has also the distinction of the most prominent foreign country in the world in the field of promotion of Hindi language. The World Hindi Conference 2003 was held in Paramaribo. A Vishwa Hindi Samman award was conferred on Dr. Dew Sharman, the deputy Chairman of the National Assembly of Suriname during the 12th World Hindi Conference in Fiji held on 15-17 Feb 2023.


42. An Indian Cultural Centre known as Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre was opened in 1978 in Suriname and pursues cultural initiatives including promotion of the Hindi language, Kathak, Yoga and classical music. India provided a yearly grant worth US 29500/- for promotion of Hindi in Suriname through Suriname Hindi Parishad until 2019.

43. A 12- member ICCR-sponsored Bhangra Group performed on November 26& 27, 2017  on the occasion of Deepavali and Independence Day of Suriname and a four member musical group led by   Radhika Chopra sponsored by ICCR during the period May 27- June 07, 2018 participated in the 145th anniversary of the Indian arrival in Suriname. A Ramlila group from Ayodhya Research Institute visited Paramaribo in July-August 2018 and held several performances across Suriname;

44. During 2019, an ICCR sponsored  six member Rajasthani  folk group led by Gazi  Khan  visited Suriname from February 16-20; an  eight-member Qawwali group led by Mohammad Ahmad Warsi  visited Suriname  from March 17-22, 2019 on the occasion of Holi/Phagwa festival and  held several performances; a Ramlila Group from Suriname participated in the  “Kumbh Mela 2019  sponsored by  the Ayodhya Research Institute.

45. Suriname celebrated National Ayurveda Day on October 16, 2017. A Congress on “Traditional systems of Medicine’ was organized in Paramaribo with the collaboration of Government of India. Dr. B.R.Patel, AYUSH expert from India was the keynote speaker in the Congress. Dr. A. Raghu, Joint Advisor visited Paramaribo from December 02-04, 2018 to take part in the National Ayurveda Day in Suriname and conducted various workshops and meetings along with the Ambassador to promote Ayurveda and AYUSH cooperation with Suriname. An MoU on Traditional Systems of Medicine was signed in January, 2020. International Day of Yoga (IDY) is widely celebrated in Suriname with the President of Suriname himself participating as the Chief Guest in IDY 2022.

46. A 75 week celebration of 75 years of India’s independence named Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav was observed with a series of events culminating in a mega event on 15th August 2022 with the President of Suriname as the Chief Guest.

47. An ICCR sponsored, 10 Member Kathak group led by Rani Khanam was in Suriname from 01-06 June 2023. In addition to other performances in various events commemorating the 150 years of Indian arrival in Suriname, the group performed with the President of India and the President of Suriname as Chief Guests on 5 June 2023 at the Independence Square Paramaribo in the main event for the Celebrations of 150 years of Indian Arrival in Suriname.


Address: Embassy of India, Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 239,
PO Box 1329, Paramaribo,Suriname.
Working hours: 0800 to 1630 hours (Monday to Friday)
Telephone Number: (0597) 498344/531448/531449
Fax Number: (0597) 491106/499382

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