India – Republic of Congo Relations
India was the first country to establish a diplomatic mission in Republic of Congo in the year 1962. Since then India had always maintained a friendly and cordial relations with the country. In 1960 – 62 India sent its Gurkha troops to counter the rebellion in the Katanga province. Currently there are 4,500 Indian troops in the country. It includes police personnel and military observers. They are operating under UN’s largest peace keeping operation called the MONUSCO. MONUSCO is UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The protection is mainly for its resources. Republic of Congo is the only country in the world that has all the elements mentioned in the periodic table. It is rich in copper, cobalt, gold, diamond, silver, manganese, zinc, germanium, tin, bauxite, radium, iron ore and coal. The complete potential of the country is not used by India. This is mainly because of the limited distance and infrastructure. A very few Indian companies are involved in copper, diamond and copper manufacturing.
Under the IAFS summits that is held once in three years, India helped establish three major centers. It includes Vocational training centers to train the citizens in various industrial skills, Soil water and tissue testing laboratories and IT center of excellence in Kinshasa.
The annual imports from RC to India are 97.76 million USD worth goods. They are mineral oil, pearls, precious stones, copper, etc. The exports to the country include goods of 317.63 million USD worth. Pharmaceuticals are the major exports to the country from India. India also exports nuclear reactors, railway products, electrical machinery, iron and steel articles, etc.
In 2011, India provided 25 million USD line of credit for the rural water supply program in the country. Later in the same year India helped RC in the construction of various hydro – electric projects. India contributed 42 million USD towards the Kakobola hydro electric power project and 168 million USD towards the Katende hydro electric project.
India also helped RC to set up IT centers of excellence. Under the pan – African E – network project tele education and tele – medicine programs were implemented. In 2006, India sent 60 tractors worth of 0.6 million USD to improve the farming practices in the country.
In 2016 – 17 66 slots are allotted to the RC citizens under the ITEC programs. Congolese women are trained under solar electrification and roof top water harvesting programs.
There are around 9,000 Indians living in the country. They are involved in trading, manufacturing and service sectors. Bulk of the Indian community in RC is from Gujarat. The remaining are from Kerala and very few from other south Indian states.
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