India-Saint Lucia Relations
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St. Lucia

Political

St. Lucia and India enjoy cordial relations and interact actively in the U.N., Commonwealth and NAM.  St. Lucia is an active Commonwealth member and is also a member state of regional groupings such as CARICOM, Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

St Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet held a bilateral meeting with PM Modi on April 19, 2018  on the sidelines of CHOGM summit and discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries and areas of mutual interests.  Dr Kenny Anthony, the then  Prime Minister of St Lucia met Indian Prime Minister on September 25, 2015 in New York on the  sidelines of UNGA meeting. The two leaders held talks on developing bilateral relations between the two countries.   

Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship(IC), Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy visited St Lucia from October 03-06, 2016 as part of the outreach initiatives of the Government of India where Ministerial level visits have not taken place in  recent years.The visit of the Hon’ble Minister was historical from the bilateral relations perspective of the two nations. It   generated huge interest among local business sectors, Indian disaspora, NRIs and various social organizations. Agriculture Minister of St. Lucia participated in the UN CCD Conference held in New Delhi in September, 2019.

St Lucia   supported India’s successful candidacies in the elections to International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Tribunal of the Laws of the Seas (ITLOS) and Executive Board of UNESCO and International Maritime Organizations (IMO)  in 2018 and continued its support to India’s candidacies for WCO, WHO and ICAO in 2019. Under India-UNDP, a  Project amounting to US$ 992723.88 for the ‘Skills training for St. Lucia’s marginalized youth’ is in progress. India also supported under India-UNDP fund the Public Assistance Programme of Govt. of St. Lucia amounting to US$500,000 in 2020. St. Lucia has also benefited under IBSA Fund  wherein a project concerning Poverty Reduction through Livestock Development for a sum of US$ 1,291,100/- was completed in September, 2018 (duration of the project was June 2015 to September 2018).  India has also joined CariCom Development Fund (CDF) as its International Development Partner in January, 2019 with contribution of US$ one million and St. Lucia is also a member of CDF.

During the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria to Dominica in 2017, NRIs/PIOs, including students were evacuated to St. Lucia. The St. Lucian Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation extended full cooperation to the evacuees.  India has handed over a cash donation of US$500,000/- towards assistance in recovery and rehabilitation following flash floods in December, 2013.  Earlier, in 2010, India had extended financial assistance of  US$ 250,000/- and medical equipment valued at over two hundred thousand US$ towards reconstruction and rehabilitation of St. Jude hospital, which caught fire. Speaking on the occasion, then External Affairs Minister Hon’ble Rufus Bousquet said “Saint Lucia will never forget its diplomatic allies like India that came forward to assist in time of need”. Govt. of India provided as a token of solidarity life saving drugs and protective gear worth US$ 100000 to Govt. and people of St.Lucia to assist in their fight against Covid 19 pandemic, which were handed over to Govt. of St. Lucia on August 12, 2020. As a gesture of solidarity, GoI donated 25,000 doses of Made in India Covishield vaccine to St. Lucia on March 1, 2021.

Negotiations are underway with the Government of Saint Lucia on signing of MoUs on Extradition Treaty, visa waiver for official and diplomatic passport holders, and Assistance in collection of taxes.

Economy

There has been very limited bilateral trade between the two countries because of the very small size of the country with the total population of about 1,86,000.

Exports to Saint Lucia

2015-16           US$ 2.67 million 

2016-17          US $ 4.33 million

2017-18           US$ 4.06 million

2018-19          US$ 4.01 million

2019-20          US$ 3.24 million

Indian exports include Iron & steel, vehicles, pharmaceuticals and textiles. 

Imports from Saint Lucia

2015-16           US$ 0.45 million

2016-17           US $ 0.24 million

2017-18           US$ 0.32 million

2018-19           US$ 0.57 million

2019-20           US$ 0.61 million

Indian imports include iron & steel and aluminium scrap & organic chemicals.

Culture

The Embassy participated in the 'Namaste St Lucia' annual event to celebrate Indian culture on 15th October, 2017. Ms Fortuna Belrose, Minister, Culture attended the event. International Day of Yoga and other cultural Events were celebrated during 2019 by the Embassy in association with Indian Cultural Foundation. There is also Indian Heritage Foundation in St. Lucia. In order to promote technical cooperation between the two countries, India is providing 10 scholarships slots to St. Lucia under ITEC during 2019-20 which are likely to be utilized.  India has provided 10  ITEC slots to St Lucia during the year 2019-20.

Indian Community 

There are about 18600 persons of Indian origin including 5% are those who married to other communities.  The PIOs came to St. Lucia in the 19th century as indentured labour. However, most of these PIOs have assimilated into the local population and few of them maintain their identity.  Most of them have changed their religion and names and are not in touch with India or Indian culture.  There is one Cabinet Minister of Indian origin in the present Cabinet.  There are a few rich businessmen also from the PIO community. There are about 550  NRIs consisting of Sindhis, Doctors,  professionals, teachers and medical students.

St. Lucia has three Medical Universities viz Spartan Health Sciences University (SHSU), American International Medical University (AIMU) and International American University (IAU) where about 330 Indian students are pursuing medicine.

Reference Books : Derek Walcott: A Caribbean Life by Bruce Alvin KingVoices From A Drumby Earl G. LongIndigenous Peoples of Saint Lucia - NouséKalinagoby Sylvester H. ClauzelHistory of St. Lucia, Caribbean Island, History of an Era: People, Economy, Government (Kindle Edition)by Uzo MarvinThe Struggle for Survival: An Historical, Political, and Socioeconomic Perspective of St. Lucia (Hardcover)by Anderson Reynolds.

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