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 functioning  from 13th August, 2019 on assumption of charge of Ms Radha Venkataraman, High Commissioner of India.  The New Mission maintains regular contacts with the Eswatiniauthorities.

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'bleRashtrapatiJi. 

From Eswatini

His Majesty King Mswati III visited India first in October, 2015 to attend the 3rd India Africa Summit-III and called on the President and Prime Minister which helped to advance India’s profile and presence in the Kingdom of Eswatini. His Majesty  again came to India in March 2017 as the Guest of Honour for the CII-EXIM Bank Conclave and was hosted by the President.  This visit of His Majesty gave further momentum to India’s commercial and cultural profile in Eswatini.   In May, 2011, he also attended the Second India Africa Summit (IAFS.II) held in Addis Ababa and met with the then PM shriManmohan Singh.

Minister of Natural Resources and Energy of the Kingdom of Eswatini, Senator Peter Bhembe with a three member delegation consisting of the Managing Director of Eswatini Electricity Company, Acting Chief Geologist and Chief Mining Engineer, visited in November 2019 Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad to study iron and steel production units in India. 

Chief Defence Officer of the Kingdom of Eswatini HRH Prince HlangusemphiDlamini wasin  India to take part in the Defence Minister’s Meet taking place in Lucknowfrom 5-6 February, 2020.   On 7thFebruary, 2020, he visited various rural development schemes implemented by NABARD and was briefed  on the capacity building training programmes available at Bankers Institute of Rural Development at Lucknow.

Ministers of Agriculture and Commerce, Trade & Industry are scheduled to take part in the IAAM 2020 / CII-EXIM Bank Conclave scheduled to take place in  Delhi  March 2020. 

Other visits 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 NathKovind 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  aMoUs/ Agreementnamely, MoU on Cooperation in Health Sector and an Agreement for exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic/service passports.

In  May 2010, former Speaker of LokSabha, 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.

First Foreign Office Consultations with Eswatini is scheduled to take place in May, 2020.  The first meeting of the JWG for consultations on implementation of MoU on Health Cooperation signed in April 2018 is scheduled to take place in later part of February 2020. 

Developmental cooperation and assistance including capacity building:

During the state visit of the President in April 2018, President Shri Ram NathKovind announced many projects. These included technical and financial support for construction of the new Parliament building of Eswatini (LoC of US $ 108.28 million is under process), 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 (underway after the release of first instalment of US $ 200,000 in October 2019). 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 built with Indian Line of Credit (under process).

Earlier, the Government of India had provided two Lines of Credit to Eswatini: (i) US$20 million for setting up Royal Swazi Science &Technology Park (RSTP) (completed and inaugurated by Hon'bleRashtrapatiji during his visit in April 2018), and (ii) US$37.9 million for  agriculture development and mechanization project (completed leading to a six fold increase in production of maize in the country).

Training and scholarships for Emaswati:

In the training year 2019-20, till date, 26 Emaswati have availed of ITEC training programme. Emaswati  continue to avail of the ICCR and IAFS scholarship slots being provided  for academic courses.

In 2018, apart from regular allotment of ITEC, ICCR and IAFS slots for training  and scholarships for Eswatini nationals,  Hon'bleRashtrapatiji 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 2018.

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.

Cultural Cooperation

For the first time, a group of 7 artisans from Eswatini  took part in the ongoingSurajkund International Crafts Bazaar 2020 at Haryana from 1-16 February, 2020.

Others

200 solar lamps have been provided by IIT Mumbai for school children in Eswatinifor assembly and distribution  to kids from all the four regions of Kingdom.

Trade and commerce:

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

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

India's total exports to Eswatini

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019 (Dec)

 

 

 

 

 

Pharmaceuticals,  distillate fuel, fertilisers and machinery and mechanical  parts etc.

39.56

32.71

19.20

12.22

India's total imports from Eswatini

39.24

8.92

9.60

5.8

Organic Chemicals etc.

 

 

 

 

Indian community:

The Indian community (NRI/PIO) in Eswatini consists of around 1500 persons, including about 500 who have taken up Eswatini nationality. Most Indian nationals in Eswatini are engaged in business and  thereare a few Indian experts working for the Government departments, few Indian doctors working  in the  hospitals  and a few Professors teaching at the University of Eswatini.

Since the establishment of the new High Commission in Mbabane, interaction with the resident Indian community has seen healthy participation in get-togethers and celebration of PravasiBharatiya Divas, Vishwa Hindi Divas, 550th Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev and National Day flag hosting and evening reception.

International Day of Yoga continues to be conducted in the country.  

February 18, 2020