India–Malta relations


India–Malta relations
Maltese-Indian relations
Map indicating locations of Malta and India

Malta

India

Maltese-Indian relations are foreign relations between Malta and India. Malta opened a High Commission in New Delhi in 2007, at N60 Panchsheel Park. From the year 1989 onwards, Malta had been represented in New Delhi by its senior most Honorary Consul in India, Mr.O.P.Kathpalia. Malta also has an honorary consulate in Chennai and another one in Mumbai.

India is represented in Malta through its embassy in Tripoli (Libya) and an honorary consulate in Valletta. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Contents

Political

The political relations between the nations of Malta and India stretch back many years even before the two became independent nations. In 1878, the British controlled Indian government dispatched 7000 native Indian troops to the island of Malta.[1] This was the first time the Indian Army was deployed outside the British Indian Empire, and questions regarding its constitutionality were raised in the British parliament.[2] The move was seen as a signal, during the height of the Great Eastern Crisis, that Britain was ready to supplement its own forces with troops from India to counter any Russian threats to Turkey, or future wars in Europe.[3]

Throughout World War II, the British used Malta as hub to bring Indian troops to and from the Atlantic. Today the two share a friendly bilateral relationship.[4]

India and Malta exchanged presidential visits in 1990 and 1992.[5] Malta opened a High Commission in New Delhi in 2007. From the year 1989 onwards, Malta had been represented in New Delhi by its senior most Honorary Consul in India, Mr.O.P.Kathpalia. Malta also has an honorary consulate in Chennai and in Mumbai and India is represented in Malta through its embassy in Tripoli (Libya) and an honorary consulate in Valletta.[4][6] According to a United Nations trade agreement, the two nations will meet at least once annually to discuss economic, industrial, scientific and technological trade as well as other relationship issues.[7][8]

In a speech to the Maltese Parliament Foreign Minister Dr. Michael Frendo mentioned that he wanted to make India a focus area in Malta's foreign policy. Frendo visited India in March 2005. The six-day visit was the first high level visit after a gap of 13 years, when the then President Ċensu Tabone visited India.[9][10][11]

Economic

The Maltese government encourages Indian businesses to set up in their nation. In order to attract Indian businesses, Malta has offered various incentives to Indian companies.[12] Malta has also signed a bilateral trade agreement with the Indian government, for the avoidance of double taxation.[13] Bilateral trade between the two countries increased nine-folds during the first three years of the 21st century, reaching 97 million USD in 2003-04;[5] and 122 million USD by 2005-06.[13] The main exports from Malta are electronic goods, electrical machinery, and professional instruments, while the major export from India are petroleum goods.[13]

Cultural

Both Malta and India were at one time colonies of the British. According to a United Nations treaty both nations decided to establish stronger cultural ties.[14] The two agreed to honor each others cultural heritage and promote cultural ties in each others countries.[14]

As of 2007, there were around 200 Non-Resident Indians living in Malta.[6] Malta also has a well-established business community of Indian descent, that traces its roots to migration of Sindhi businessmen starting around 1887. While both countries were under British rule, Malta served as a convenient trading node for exporting silk and curios from India and Far East to places around the Mediterranean and South America. However following India's independence, and due to strict immigration laws in Malta, not a single Indian is said to have emigrated to Malta between 1952 and 1985. The traders of Indian descent in Malta belong to the bhaiband Sindhi community and are locally known as l-Indjani ("the Indians").[15] The community continues to maintain Indian traditions in Malta, such as organizing Diwali celebrations and running temples. Though once very isolated, it is now well-integrated into Maltese society and regarded as a national local minority.[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Indian troops sent to malta: A serious event in English history. Troops ate Her Majesty's disposal. How Englishmen are shirking battlefields.". New York Times. 1878-05-09. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9906E4DD1E3FE63BBC4153DFB3668383669FDE. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  2. ^ Jeffery, Keith (1981). "An English Barrack in the Oriental Seas'? India in the Aftermath of the First World War". Modern Asian Studies1 5 (3): 369–386. 
  3. ^ Duckers, Peter (2003). The British-Indian Army, 1860-1914. Buckinghamshire, UK: Shire Publications. p. 42. ISBN 0-7478-0550-4. 
  4. ^ a b Maltese representations in India "India-Malta relations". Government of Malta. http://www.mfa.gov.mt/images/files/file/INDIA(2).pdf Maltese representations in India. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  5. ^ a b "Malta's Foreign Minister Michael Frendo arrives". The Press Trust of India. 2005-07-05. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-3904091_ITM. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  6. ^ a b "Country Brief of Malta". Government of India. http://www.meaindia.nic.in/foreignrelation/malta.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-23. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Treaty #31421 India and Malta, Agreement on economic, industrial, scientific and technological cooperation" (in English & Hindi). United Nations. http://untreaty.un.org/unts/120001_144071/9/2/00006941.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Malta and India to increase political and trade cooperation". MaltaMedia Online Network. Mar 14, 2005. http://www.maltamedia.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi?archive=13&num=5409. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  9. ^ "Ministry of External Affairs (Central Europe Division)". India Ministry of External Affairs. March 2007. http://www.meaindia.nic.in/foreignrelation/malta.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-25. [dead link]
    India's relations with Malta have been strong. Foreign Minister Dr. Frendo in a speech in the Parliament mentioned he wanted to make India a focus area in Malta's foreign policy. FM Frendo visited India in March 2005. The six-day visit was the first high level visit after a gap of 13 years, when the then President Tabone visited India. At present, Malta has an Honorary Consul in Delhi and Mumbai. It is planning to open a Mission in Delhi. The year 2005 is marked by the visit of our Commerce Minister to Malta for CHOGM in November and that of a Parliamentary delegation from West Bengal Legislative Assembly, led by ShriHashim Abdul Halim, Speaker, in August 2005.
  10. ^ "Commonwealth Connects to hold international e-partnership summit in India". Commonwealth. 1 March 2007. http://www.thecommonwealth.org/news/34580/34581/160623/010307commonwealthconnects2007.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  11. ^ "Malta A Doorway For Indian Companies To European Markets: Fm.". AsiaPulse News. March 14, 2005. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-19100199_ITM. Retrieved 2009-04-25.  "Malta has called upon Indian entrepreneurs to set up shop in the Mediterranean island country and use it as an export hub to provide access to the European and North African markets."
  12. ^ "Malta woos Indian investors to set up businesses". The Economic Times. 27 Sep 2008. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/Economy/Foreign_Trade/Malta_woos_Indian_investors_to_set_up_businesses/articleshow/3535118.cms. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  13. ^ a b c "Malta keen on India-EU bilateral trade agreement". MaltaMedia.com. Mar 25, 2007. http://www.maltamedia.com/artman2/publish/govt_politics/article_1164.shtml. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  14. ^ a b "Treaty #31422 India and Malta, Cultural Agreement". United Nations. December 15, 1992. http://untreaty.un.org/unts/120001_144071/9/2/00006944.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  15. ^ Falzon, Mark-Anthony (Autumn 2001). "Origins and establishment of the Indian business community in Malta". Bank of Valletta Review 24. http://www.bov.com/filebank/documents/BR24%20Origins%20and%20Establishment%20of%20the%20Indian%20Bus%20Community.pdf. 
  16. ^ Amore, Katia (2007). "Malta". In Gropas, Ruby; Triandafyllidou, Anna. European immigration: a sourcebook. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate. pp. 237–248. ISBN 0-7546-4894-X. 

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