Vision of IRSEA. Romania has been continuously appreciated as a trustworthy partner by the countries in Asia. The bilateral relations between Romania and the Asian countries are free of direct political issues and with a rich history and dynamic developments over many years. Likewise, the relations between Romania and the Asian states are similarly robust at multilateral level, with a particularly strong cooperation at the UN, ASEM, ASEAN and other international formats.
In the aftermath of her 1989 democratic breakthrough, Romania has channeled utmost efforts towards deepening the integration within the European and Euro-Atlantic structures with an aim to safeguard her new democratic path, security and well-being of the Romanian people; it is against this backdrop that the bilateral relations with countries in other regions of the world have apparently developed at a different pace.
According to the Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, the country’s bilateral relations with her partners in Asia, and not only, are expected to gain momentum starting with 2023: “At the same time, the investment of new energy is needed to reconnect or keep close, as the case may be, Romania's friends and partners in the Middle East, the Gulf, Africa, the Indo-Pacific and Latin America. In the current moment of global crossroads, it is not geographical distances that matter, but the proximity of values and action in mutual support when needed.” (Speech at the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomacy, 2022)
It is in this ambit that IRSEA continues to actively support, through all its means and its status as officially recognized think-tank, Romania’s steady efforts to further strengthen her long, continuous and sincere bilateral relations with her partners and friends in Asia. There is a need to know each other better, which is the target of IRSEA’s newest project titled “IRSEA Bridges to Asia”- an avenue opened for High Officials, Ambassadors, IRSEA partners and professional analysts, from both Asia and Romania.
The bilateral relations between India and Romania have been comprehensively presented by H.E. Mr. Rahul Shrivastava, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Romania, a good friend of IRSEA.
In his convincing article, His Excellency Ambassador Shrivastava presents the numerous avenues of the excellent India-Romania cooperation from multiple standpoints: political, economic, scientific, cultural and people-to-people. Indeed, the year of 2023 holds a particular importance when it comes to India-Romania relations: the two peoples celebrate 75 years of actively supporting the diplomatic relations between their countries.
This year is a special one in the history of India-Romania relations since it marks the 75th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Romania. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of Extended Partnership Agreement between India and Romania.
In the last one year, India-Romania bilateral activity increased. Prime Minister Modi had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Ciucă in February last year. Our Minister of External Affairs had a bilateral meeting Foreign Minister Aurescu also in February 2022 in Munich. A week later, they had a telephonic conversation. This was followed by the visit of Minister of Civil Aviation of India to Romania, Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia to Romania. Minister Scindia oversaw evacuation efforts of Indian citizens through Romania. 8000 Indian citizens were evacuated from Ukraine through Romania in 36 special flights arranged by the Government of India. The whole exercise was completed in 10 days. The government and people of Romania wholeheartedly supporting us in this exercise for which we are grateful.
The Indian delegation to the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, which was held in Bucharest in September-October 2022, was led by our Minister of State for Communications. India won both the ITU elections that it contested.
Inter-parliamentary relations between our countries have been a strong pillar of our bilateral ties. Parliamentarians of India and Romania met online in June 2022. Young Parliamentarians from Romania and a Mayor participated in ICCR’s Gen-Next Democracy Network Programme in India over a course of 10 days.
Sadhguru visited Romania. He has hundreds of thousands of followers in Romania. Besides meeting Romanian leadership to brief them on the ‘Save Soil’ movement, he addressed 5000 people in The Roman Arenas.
Our economic partnership is progressing well. This financial year, we are on way to reach our target of 1 billion dollars of bilateral trade or maybe even more. Indo-Romanian Centre for External Relations was set up and Romania-India Bilateral Chamber was revived to boost economic ties. As the pandemic restrictions eased, we were able to organise commercial exhibitions in Romania, largest of which was held in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania in July 2022. Indian companies participated in international exhibitions in Romania such as RomMedica, where the Indian was the largest of any country or BSDA where an Indian defence delegation participated for the first time. Similarly, Romanian companies participated in trade fairs in India. The Embassy organised trade forums between Indian and Romanian businessmen, including a tourism forum which brought together 70 Indian and Romanian tour operators.
Over a dozen premier research institutions of India and Romania specializing in areas such as economic studies, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, material sciences, biology, pathology and astronomical studies initiated formal ties in the last one year. Some of them even managed to host joint conferences. Several leading Indian and Romanian universities similarly set up collaboration.
Cultural ties between our countries date back to several centuries.The Embassy was able to organize a dozen cultural exhibitions across various cities of Romania and over 50 cultural events. In some cities such as Barlad and Targu Jiu, the exhibitions are now on permanent display. A series of events were organised in Romania to commemorate anniversaries of Romanian Indologists such as Mircea Eliade, Theofil Simenschy and Sergiu Al-George.
And young Indian chess players did us proud by getting first place for India in the World Youth Chess Championship held in Mamaia in September 2022.
To mark the 75th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, events will be held all over Romania to further strengthen the strong ties between our countries and thank everyone for their untiring support throughout the course of these 75 years.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position or view of IRSEA.