India has strategic importance globally because off its size, population, location and growing economic strength and military prowess. Its rapid economic growth particularly has made it the focus of a great deal of international attention. Its influence is formally expressed through over 120 countries that it exchanges embassies and high commissions with. The rise and growth of India’s economic power and influence coincided with an outwardly looking approach in trade in not just goods but also services. The country has considerable political and commercial ties with the United States, Japan, member states of the European Union including the United Kingdom, China, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Today, the country’s foreign policy could be summarily described as pragmatic with emphasis on national security, trade and promotion of its international influence particularly through its pursuit for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The Ministry of External Affairs is the lead government ministry in foreign affairs. Its website provides great historical detail of its foreign relations with almost every country in the world.
There are over 100 countries with missions in India. The country has retained formal ties with many member countries of the Commonwealth including the Australia, Canada, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa and the United Kingdom, all of which have high commissions in New Delhi. Particular aspects of India’s relations within its closest neighbours in the subcontinent are conducted through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). SAARC’s members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. All of these countries maintain missions, embassies or high commissions in India. With its other Asian neighbours, member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan and China, the country has had close ties for many decades in both politics and trade. All of these countries are represented fully by an ambassador in India.
India maintains foreign missions in a majority of the countries of the world, throughout the Commonwealth, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Russia the Americas and the Pacific. The country’s high commissions and embassies operate as a focal point in its promotion trade and strengthening of its political ties. India has diasporic communities established in many areas of the world particularly countries and territories of the former British Empire which form the Commonwealth, the United States and its Asian neighbours and the Middle East. Many embassies and high commissions help to enhance the links of these communities to India. Kamalesh Sharma, previous Indian high commissioner, ambassador and permanent representative to the UN in New York is the current Commonwealth Secretary General. Business and tourist visas are usually required for travel to India and are valid for six months; visitors should contact the local high commission or embassy for further information.
|Embassies organisations in India|
|Indian Embassy in Washington DC, United States||
|United States, Embassy of the||