November 2019 - Bilateral News



  • Union cabinet approved the negotiating stand of India at the 25th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled to be held in Madrid, Spain (under the Presidency of Chile) from 2-13 December 2019. The Indian delegation will be led by Shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon'ble Minister, Environment, Forest and Climate Change. COP 25 is an important conference as countries prepare to move from pre-2020 period under Kyoto Protocol to post-2020 period under Paris Agreement. India has been leading the world in its pursuit of enhanced solar energy capacity through International Solar Alliance (ISA). In addition to ISA, two new initiatives have been launched by India as part of its efforts to mobilize world on climate action.


  • India and China is one of the oldest systems of traditional medicine, known as Sowa-Rigpa, which has similarities with Ayurveda. India sought recognition of the ancient medicinal tradition as its intangible cultural heritage.
    Sowa-Rigpa : Sowa-Rigpa is a traditional Tibetan system of medicine practiced in India. It is popular in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal's Darjeeling, Himachal Pradesh. The theory and practices of Sowa Rigpa are similar to that of Ayurveda and include a few principles of the traditional Chinese system of medicine. The fundamental textbook 'Rgyud-Bzi' of Sowa Rigpa is believed to have been taught by Buddha himself and is closely linked with Buddhist philosophy.
    The NISR would provide an impetus to the revival of Sowa-Rigpa in the Indian sub-continent and provide opportunities for students of the traditional medicinal system not only in India but also from other countries.
    It will be an autonomous national institute under the Ministry of AYUSH with the mandate of undertaking interdisciplinary education and research programs in Sowa-Rigpa in collaboration with premier national and international institutes and facilitate the integration of different systems of medicine.


  • The MoU signed between India and Saudi Arabia will enhance the cooperation between the two countries to combat the smuggling of narcotic drugs as defined by the United Nations International Drug Control Conventions. The MoU will enhance the cooperation between the two countries to combat the smuggling of narcotic drugs as defined by the United Nations International Drug Control Conventions. It will allow the exchange of relevant information including methods, details of trafficking of NDPS, identities and suspicious activities of producers, smugglers, and traffickers of narcotic drugs, and Precursors Chemicals on requisitions and financial details of the traffickers arrested on drug-related charges.
    The MoU allows notification of the details of the arrested citizen of the other Party for committing the crime of smuggling of narcotic drugs and consular access to the arrested person.
    The MoU also allows the exchange of chemical reports and analysis of narcotic drug, psychotropic substances and chemical precursors that are seized within the territory of either party. Under the MoU, exchange of data and information about illegal laboratories of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and chemical precursors and their technical specifications can be done.


  • Cabinet approved India-Saudi Arabia Agreement on Strategic Partnership Council. The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Post Facto the Agreement signed by Prime Minister on 29 October 2019. The agreement was signed between India and Saudi Arabia for the establishment of the Strategic Partnership Council.

    The Agreement between India and Saudi Arabia aims to enable the leadership at the highest level to meet regularly and monitor progress in the ongoing initiatives and projects under the various strategic partnership. It will help identify new areas for forging strategic engagement and will define the goals to be achieved and benefits to be derived. It will benefit the Indian citizens with improved economic and commercial linkages with Saudi Arabia. It will also open new avenues of partnership in strategic areas like security, counter-terrorism, defence, energy security, and renewable energy.


  • The Union Cabinet approved the agreement signed between the Republic of India and the Republic of Chile to avoid double taxation. The countries signed the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and Protocol. The Agreement and Protocol will be implemented and monitored by the Ministry of Finance. 

    The agreement aimed to eliminate double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion in both countries. It will avoid taxes with respect to income. DTAA will eliminate double taxation. The Agreement provides a clear allocation of taxing rights between the Contracting States. It is expected that it will provide tax certainty to investors and businesses of both countries while augmenting the flow of investment through fixing of tax rates in royalties, source State on interest, and fees for technical services. The agreement and protocol will implement minimum standards and other recommendations of the G-20 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project. It is expected that the BEPS Project will curb tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules.


  • Cabinet approved India-Myanmar Agreement on Human Trafficking. The MoU will deepen the relationship between India and Myanmar. It will increase bilateral cooperation on the issues of rescue, recovery, prevention, and repatriation related to human trafficking
    MoU Benefits :
    The MoU will deepen the relationship between the two countries. It will increase bilateral cooperation on the issues of rescue, recovery, prevention, and repatriation related to human trafficking.
    The MoU will prevent all forms of human trafficking and protect and assist the victims of trafficking
    It will ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers and organized crime syndicates in both countries.
    It will strengthen immigration and border controls cooperation and implementation of strategies with relevant Ministries and Organizations to prevent trafficking in persons.
    It will set up Working Groups and Task Force to make efforts to prevent human trafficking
    Develop and share database on traffickers and victims of trafficking in a safe and confidential manner and exchange information through designated focal points of India and Myanmar
    Capacity building programmes for the agencies concerned about both countries.
    The MoU will enable both the countries to formulate and adopt Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Rescue, Recovery, Repatriation, and Integration of the victims of trafficking.


  • India announces 400 million dollars line of credit to Sri Lanka to strengthen its economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi (29 November, 2019) said that India is committed to partner Sri Lanka in its path to development.

    Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in New Delhi, Mr Modi said India gives priority to its relations with Sri Lanka under its 'Neighbourhood First' policy. He said, India will fully cooperate with Sri lanka's fight against terrorism. He announced 50 million dollars line of credit to Sri Lanka to tackle terrorism. Mr Modi also announced a new line of credit of 400 million dollars to Sri Lanka to strengthen its economy. Describing the meeting with Mr Rajapaksa as fruitful, Mr Modi said, a strong and prosperous Sri Lanka in not only in the interest of india but in the interest of the entire Indian ocean region. He assured India's help in overall development of the country.

    The Sri Lankan President said, India's line of credit of 400 million dollar will further boost Sri Lanka's development. He said PM Modi has always fought terrorism. The newly elected President of Sri Lanka arrived in the national capital last evening on a state visit to India at Prime Minister Modi's invitation. Mr Rajapaksha also met External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues. This is Mr Rajapaksa's first overseas visit since assuming office. He will call on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan this evening (29 November, 2019).


  • India, Japan to hold Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi. Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi this morning (30 November, 2019). The Japanese Ministers are on a day's working visit to participate in 22 India-Japan Dialogue. They will also meet External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar ahead of the dialogue.

    The meeting will provide an opportunity for the two sides to further strengthening defence and security cooperation to provide greater depth to the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership. The two sides will also exchange views on the situation in the Indo-Pacific region and their efforts for achieving their shared objective of peace, prosperity and progress for a better future for the people of the two countries and the region. The meeting is being held following the decision taken by Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Abe during the 13th India-Japan Annual Summit held in Japan in October 2018 to institute a Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue for further deepening bilateral Security and Defence cooperation.


  • India will set up 12 hi-tech parks in Bangladesh at a cost of $193 million. Speaking at a business meeting in Rangpur organised by the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 28 November, 2019, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das said that these hi-tech parks will provide training to 30,000 youth of Bangladesh as skilled IT professionals. She also inaugurated Swami Vivekananda Bhawan at Rangpur which houses a Computer Center, Charitable Medical Centre, Coaching centre and student's home.


  • Sri Lanka’s new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will embark on his maiden visit to India on 29th November, 2019 on the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gotabaya assumed office as the seventh President of Sri Lanka this morning, after his victory in the election, on 16 November, 2019. This was finalised during External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar short visit to Colombo on 19 November, 2019, during which he called on Mr Rajapaksa. He conveyed Prime Minister Modi’s message of a partnership for shared peace, progress, prosperity and security.


  • India and Singapore have agreed to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation and taking it to greater heights. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed satisfaction at the increasing engagement of the Armed Forces of both the countries in conducting joint exercises. This while calling on Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in Singapore. Mr. Singh stressed that the Indo-Pacific for India means an open, inclusive and stable region, connected through secure seas, integrated by trade and anchored by the unity and centrality of ASEAN. The Defence Minister will co-chair the 4th India-Singapore Defence Ministers’ Dialogue before concluding his two-day visit.


  • Union Cabinet on 20 November, 2019 approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Finland for strengthening cooperation in the tourism sector. The MoU seeks to establish the basis for a cooperative relationship to encourage and promote successful bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism, sharing data, knowledge, expertise in the field of tourism. The two countries will also be sharing experiences in making policies, regulation and standards in planning, implementation and development of tourism policy. India and Finland will also be exchanging best practices through workshops and study visits for experts of the two countries on cooperation.


  • Brazil is hosting 2019 BRICS summit, this time in capital Brasilia from 13th to 14th November. BRICS brings together five major economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa having 23 percent of the global GDP and around 17 percent of the share in world trade. It started off primarily with an economic aspect but has now actually diversified into the political, security issues, socio-economic issues, and also people-to-people connections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reach Brasilia in the early morning of 13th Nov. This is Prime Minister's second visit to Brazil and his first visit after the new administration led by the president Bolsonaro assumed office on 1st January 2019. 2019 edition of BRICS will be its 11th summit, happening every year since its inception.


  • Ministry of Tourism participated in World Travel Market (WTM). The Ministry of Tourism participated in the three- day-long World Travel Market (WTM) from November 04-06, 2019 in London, UK. The theme for India Pavilion at WTM 2019 was ‘Incredible India – Find the Incredible India’. A total of 32 stakeholders, including State Governments, Union Territory Administrations, Air India, IRCTC participated as co-exhibitors in the India Pavilion.


  • Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has arrived in UAE on 10 November, 2019 to participate in the Inaugural Ministerial Session of Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC) and a Ministerial Panel Discussion. He is visiting on the invitation of UAE Minister of State and CEO, ADNOC Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber.

    ADIPEC has become one of the most influential global conference in the oil and gas sector, attracting 1,45,000 attendees from more than 160 countries, including Government Ministers, global industry CEOs, policy makers and leading energy companies. There are 23 exhibiting country pavilions at the ADIPEC including India.


  • BRICS trade ministers meeting has started in Brasilia. Commerce minister Piyush Goyal is leading the Indian delegation. The meeting will focus on trade facilitation, investment promotion and cooperation in customs among other issues.

    MoU on trade and investment promotion between agencies of all the 5 BRICS countries will be signed after the meeting. Power minister R K Singh will attend the meeting of BRICS power ministers where deliberations will focus on clean energy and harnessing the strengths of each other in the energy sector.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for Brasilia on 12 November, 2019 to attend 11th BRICS summit. The theme of the BRICS summit this year is "Economic Growth for an Innovative Future. It is sixth time that Mr. Modi is participating in the BRICS summit. A large business delegation from India is also expected to be present during the visit to attend the BRICS Business Forum where the business communities of all five countries are going to be represented. Prime Minister is scheduled to hold separate bilateral meetings with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Chinese president Xi Jinping. BRICS which accounts for 23 per cent of the global GDP and around 17 per cent of the share in world trade has diversified its agenda over the years.


  • India has called for coordinated action by nations, bilaterally or multilaterally, to prevent the forces of terrorism and extremism from building presence in the digital domain. Countries should consider entering into arrangements for speedy action and mitigation on issues pertaining to the governance of cyberspace and specific security threats.

    India's support to the Christchurch call to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online manifests the country's commitment to work with like-minded countries, without endangering our safety and security. Cyberspace and digital technologies have been a real force of economic, social, political, industrial, even behavioural transformation. India has joined France, New Zealand, Canada and several other countries in launching a major initiative to combat terrorism and extremism online and secure the internet.


  • PM Narendra Modi to attend 11th BRICS Summit beginning on 13th November in Brasilia. BRICS comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The theme of this year's summit is "Economic Growth for an Innovative Future." Mr Modi is looking forward for exchanging views with leaders to further strengthen intra BRICS cooperation. Modi will address the BRICS Business Forum and interact with BRICS Business Council as well as the New Development Bank.

    The visit to Brazil will give him an opportunity to hold talks with President Jair M. Bolsonaro on ways to deepen the India-Brazil strategic partnership. There is great potential in sectors like trade, defence, agriculture and energy. BRICS will also discuss counter-terrorism cooperation as one of its priority areas this year (2019). BRICS Innovation Network, BRICS Institute of Future Network and a Women Business Alliance will also be launched.


  • The first-ever joint tri-service exercise between India and Russia code named INDRA 2019 will be conducted from December 10-19. Company-sized mechanised contingents, fighter and transport aircraft as well as ships of respective Armies, Air Forces and Navies will participate in this 10-days exercise. It is aimed at enhancing interoperability between both the national armed forces.


  • India and Switzerland held Secretary-level bilateral meeting in New Delhi and discussed enhanced cooperation in the fight against tax evasion. The Secretaries expressed satisfaction over the progress made over the past few years in the area of administrative assistance in tax matters, particularly the efforts made by Switzerland in providing assistance in HSBC cases.

    Welcoming the first transmission of financial account information on automatic basis between the two countries in September 2019, the Secretaries reiterated their countries’ commitment to global tax transparency for tackling offshore tax evasion. The Secretaries encouraged the competent authorities of both countries to further collaborate and share experiences with the aim of continuously enhancing the quality of the exchanged data.


  • The Prime Minister invited the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations in 2020 and he accepted the invitation with pleasure. During the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the two leaders spoke about diversifying cooperation for the benefit of their people. Both leaders agreed that on this occasion the two countries can comprehensively enhance our strategic partnership. Mr. Modi also outlined areas for potential investment from Brazil, including in areas of agricultural equipment, animal husbandry, post-harvest technologies and biofuels. Mr Modi welcomed the decision of Brazilian President to grant visa-free travel to Indian citizens.


  • Exercise Tiger Triumph, a joint tri-services Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) between India and the US, commenced at Visakhapatnam, AndhraPradesh on 13 November. The exercise will be held from 13-21 November 2019. The aim of the exercise is to grow the partnership between India and the US. It also is aimed to develop interoperability for conducting HADR operations.

    Indian Naval Ships (INS) Jalashwa, Airavat and Sandhayak, Indian Army troops from 19 Madras and 7 Guards, and Indian Air Force MI-17 helicopters and Rapid Action Medical Team (RAMT) are participating in the exercise. The US side is represented by the US Navy Ship Germantown with troops from the US Third Marine Division. The Harbor Phase of the exercise commenced at Visakhapatnam. It will be held on 13-16 November 2019.

    The opening ceremony held onboard INS Jalashwa on 14 November. Personnel from both navies are participating in the training visits, sports events, subject matter expert exchanges, and social interactions. At the HADR Exercise Area, the Indian Army and US Marines will jointly establish a Command and Control Centre. The Indian Air Force (IAF) Rapid Action Medical Team (RAMT) and the US Navy Medical Team will establish a Medical Facility Camp for providing medical aid to victims.


  • Defence minister Rajnath Singh will co-chair the 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation starting in Moscow. During his visit, Mr Singh is expected to hold discussions with Defence Minister of Russian Federation General Sergei Shoigu. He is also scheduled to inaugurate, along with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference.


  • Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla addresses 6th Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit of G20 Countries. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has said that terrorism not only damages the society but also significantly impacts the economy. Mr Birla, who is in Tokyo to attend the 6th Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit of G20 Countries, shared his views with Presiding Officers of Parliaments of G20 countries.


  • Rajnath Singh urges Russian Defence Industry to jointly manufacture defence equipment with India. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called upon the Russian Defence Industry to jointly manufacture defence platforms and equipment with India that will give a massive boost to the nations’ exports to third countries. Mr.Singh was addressing CEOs of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from Russian Defence Industry after jointly inaugurating ‘India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference’ with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov in Moscow, Russia.

    Defence Minister is on a three-day visit to Russia to co-chair the 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation. He urged industry leaders to make use of the significant economic reforms undertaken by the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to improve ease of doing business and opening up the defence manufacturing sector for foreign participation. Government of India is encouraging OEMs to partner with Indian entities making use of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. He also looked forward to his meeting with the Defence Minister of Russia General Sergei Shoigu, saying that he hopes to discuss mutual steps to facilitate Russian OEMs to take necessary actions for collaboration with Indian Industry.


  • Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar will attend the 15th meeting of the Governing Council of South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme, SACEP in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 6 November, 2019.

    The SACEP is an inter-governmental organization which was established in 1982. Its member countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka aim to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the region. The 14th meeting of the SACEP Governing Council was held in March last year (2018) in Colombo.


  • Union Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar met the Information Minister of Bangladesh Hasan Mahmood on the first day of his visit to Bangladesh. He discussed host of issues including cooperation in two film production namely Story of Liberation of Bangladesh and Bangabandhu with his Bangladeshi counterpart. Both the leaders also discussed the progress and impact of DD India broadcasted in Bangladesh and Bangladesh TV being aired in India. The two countries have ties and cooperation in many fields. He invited Information Minister of Bangladesh to visit India to take forward the cooperation between the two countries.



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