About Us India - Eswatini Relations

India - Eswatini Relations

India's relations with Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) are close, friendly and cordial. The first resident Indian Mission in Mbabane started operating from 13th August, 2019 on assumption of charge of Ms Radha Venkataraman, High Commissioner of India. The New Mission maintains regular contacts with the Swazi authorities.

Political:

Exchange of visits :

During the last decade several important visits have taken place between the two countries. These include those at the level of the King, Mswati III of Eswatini and our Hon'ble Rashtrapati Ji.

From Eswatini, His Majesty King Mswati III visited India first in October, 2015 to attend the 3"1 India Africa Summit-III and called on the President and Prime Minister. He again came in March 2017 as the Guest of Honour for the CII-EXIM Bank Conclave and was hosted by the President. Earlier, in May, 2011, he attended the Second India Africa Summit (IAFS.II) held in Addis Ababa and met then PM shri Manmohan Singh.

Visits at the Ministerial level from Eswatini have been mostly to attend the annual CII-EXIM Bank-Africa Conclaves and for other multilateral events.

From India

On April 9-10, 2018, Hon'ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind accompanied by the first lady and a large delegation visited the Kingdom of Eswatini. During his visit, he addressed a Joint Sitting of the Eswatini Parliament and conveyed Government of India's decision to open a resident Indian diplomatic Mission in Eswatini. He was also conferred the highest honour of Eswatini, the Order of the Lion'. During the visit, he also witnessed the signing of a MoUs / Agreement namely, MoU on Cooperation in Health Sector and an Agreement for exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic/service passports.

Earlier in May 2010, former Speaker of Lok Sabha, Smt. Meira Kumar visited Eswatini to attend the Mid-year Executive Meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) held in Eswatini. During the visit, she also called on the Swazi King and the Prime Minister.

Other visits from India include those of Smt. Preneet Kaur, then MoS for External Affairs in 2011, as PM's envoy to invite the King to the IAFS.II held in Addis Ababa, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, MoS for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation in July 2015 again as a Special Envoy of the Prime Minister to invite King Mswati III to the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) scheduled to be held in New Delhi in October 2015.

Bilateral Consultations:

In August, 2017, bilateral consultations between the two countries were held in Mbabane. The Indian side was led by Dr. Neena Malhotra, JS-E&SA.

Developmental cooperation and assistance including capacity building:

During the state visit of the President in April 2018, President Shri Ram Nath Kovind announced many projects. These included technical and financial support for construction of the new Parliament building of Eswatini, cash grant of US$ 1Mn to National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), in-kind donation of 700 tons of rice and 300 tons of beans for the NDMA and medicines and medical equipment worth US$3 Mn, grant assistance of US$ 400,000 for construction of irrigation infrastructure in Lubuyane in the Hhohho region. Apart from these, he also announced a LoC of US$ 10.4 Mn for establishing Disaster Recovery Data Center in the Royal Science and Technology Park (under process).

Earlier, the Government of India has provided two Lines of Credit to Eswatini: (i) US$20 million for setting up Royal Swazi Science & Technology Park (RSTP) which was inaugurated by Hon'ble Rashtrapati ji during his visit in April 2018, and (ii) US$37.9 million for an agriculture development and mechanization project (completed).

Training and scholarships for Swazi nationals:

In 2018, apart from regular allotment of ITEC, ICCR and IAFS slots for training and scholarships for Eswatini nationals, Hon'ble Rashtrapatiji during his visit, announced an increase of ITEC slots from 30 to 50 and also a customized accounting training for 50 Treasury officials at Institute of Government Accounts and Finance in India (INGAF). In fulfillment of these commitments, almost all ITEC slots were utilized and the training of 50 treasury officials were completed.

In July 2008. India-Eswatini signed a MoU on strengthening of bilateral co-operation in area of computer aided education of children at the elementary level in the Eswatini. Under this, the Hole-inthe-Wall (HiWEL), the implementing agency, established 3 Hole-in-Wall Learning Stations (HITWLS) at Cetjwayo Primary School and Bulandzeni Community Primary School in Hhohho Region and Mahlanga Primary School in Manzini Region.

Trade and commerce:

India has a trade agreement with Eswatini since 2002 whereby both the countries granted Most Favoured Nation (MEN) treatment to each other.

Import-export: Figures in US$ million (Source: Dept. of Commerce, GOI):

India's total exports to Eswatini (in US$ Mn)

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19 (Apr-

     

Aug, 2019)

Pharmaceuticals, Organic Chemicals, etc.

39.56

32.71

23.07

India's total imports from Eswatini (in US$ Mn)

39.24

8.92

35.94

 

Unwrought gold and silver etc.

     

Indian community:

The Indian community (NRI/PIO) in Eswatini consists of around 1000 persons, including about 500 who have taken up Eswatini nationality. Apart from some Indian nationals engaged in business, there are a few Indian experts working for the Government departments, hospitals etc. and a few professors teaching at the University of Eswatini.

India - Eswatini Relations