India-Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) Bilateral Relations
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India - Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) 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 RMI 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. The Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) between India and RMI was signed in March 2016 to strengthen bilateral tax cooperation.

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. 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. Union Minister of State for HRD Shri Upendra Kushwaha paid an official visit to RMI on 10-11 July 2018. This was the first Ministerial visit from India to RMI. During the visit, both sides reaffirmed commitment to further advance ties in areas of mutual interest such as blue economy, climate change, disaster preparedness, health, education & renewable energy. Ambassador Sanjay Kumar Verma presented his credentials to the RMI President Hilda C. Heine on 21 August 2019 in Majuro. During this visit, RMI signed on the Framework Agreement of International Solar Alliance (ISA).

Bilateral Trade: Give the constraints of distance and small size of the market, there is very little trade between India and RMI. India’s total export was worth US$ 0.14 million in 2016-17 and India’s total imports from RMI were US$8.71 million. 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. RMI utilized one slot in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and three slots in 2015-16. RMI sent two diplomats for

FSI training Course for Diplomats from Pacific Island Countries conducted in 2011. In FY 2015-16, three RMI students availed of ITEC scholarship. 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 have undergone ITEC Training for “Training Illiterate/semi-illiterate Rural women on solar Electrification and Rainwater Harvesting” conducted by Barefoot College, Ajmer from September 2017 to March 2018. An officer from National Disaster Management Office, RMI underwent training on “Early Warning System for Oceanic Disaster and Mitigation with Special Emphasis on Tsunamis” from November 2017 at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service, Hyderabad from 20-25 November 2017 under INCOIS-NDMA Training Programme for Pacific Island Countries (under FIPIC).

Bilateral Assistance: Since 2005, India has provided more than USD 1.5 million as assistance to RMI for various projects. In 2005, India provided grant-in-aid of USD 242,500 for purchase of solar panels and two-way radio sets for Outer Islands Health Centre for the Ministry of Health; in 2008 grant-in-aid of USD 100,000 for Solar Powered Street Lights; in 2013 grant-in-aid of USD 163,000 for purchase of two mini vans and computer (plus communication equipment); in 2013 grant-in-aid of USD 100,000 for disaster relief aid for the drought in RMI; in 2014-15 grant-in-aid of USD 100,570 for funding RMI’s first National Export Strategy; in 2015-16 grant-in-aid of USD 150,000 for Special Grant for organizing the Annual Pacific Islands Leader’s Summit in Majuro, RMI; in 2016-17 grant-in-aid of USD 199,680 for Atoll Community Coral and Calm Project; in 2016-17 grant-in-aid of USD 100,000 for Disaster Relief and Recovery; in 2017-18 grant-in-aid of USD 200,000 for Majuro Atoll Local Government for “Solar Refrigeration Project”; in 2018-19 grant-in-aid of USD 300,000 (USD 210,000 already disbursed) for Water and Sanitation Project of Aur Atoll Local Government to provide basic household facilities such as toilet septic system and clean water to 80 plus residential household.

Indians: As per latest information from RMI Foreign Ministry, 12 Indian nationals are currently residing in RMI.

September 2019