India–Poland relations

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Indo-Polish relations
Map indicating locations of Poland and India

Poland

India

Indo-Polish relations refers to the bilateral relations between Republic of Poland and the Republic of India. Historically, relations have generally been close and friendly, characterised by understanding and cooperation on international front.[1]

Historical background[edit]

During the 16th-century (Renaissance), a small number of Polish nobility, statesmen, merchants and writers visited India and fostered the abiding interest of the Polish people in the civilization, philosophy, spiritual traditions, art and culture of India.[2] One of the first travellers to make Polish contact with India was the Polish nobleman and statesman Pawel Palczowski of Palczowic from the distinguished senior Silesian Polish nobility House of Saszowski family,[2][3][4] Erzm Kretowski and the Polish merchant Gaspar da Gama from Poznań,[2] as well as Krzysztof Pawlowski who provided the first description of India in Polish, recorded in a letter dated 1569,[2] a consequence of these voyages soon provided Indian echoes in Polish literature.[2] During the 19th century, several Sanskrit classics were translated into Polish and a "History of Ancient India" in Polish was one of the first of its kind to be published in Europe. A Chair of Sanskrit was set up at the Jagiellonian University of Kraków in 1893. Studies and research in Indian languages and literature had developed at the Universities of Krakow, Warsaw, Wrocław and Poznań. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Polish painter Norblin was commissioned by the Maharaja of Jodhpur to decorate the Umaid Bhavan Palace.[1]

During World War II, the then Jam Sahib, K.S. Digvijaysinhji of Jamnagar had extended hospitality to some 5,000 Polish orphans deported from Siberia. These children, who lived in camps in a number of places in western India, including Balachandi (near Jamnagar), Valivade (near Kolhapur) and Panchgani. Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were known to be vocal supporters of Polish struggle against Occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany.[1] The Warsaw school I SLO im Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji has been named after the Jam Sahib.

Diplomatic relations[edit]

The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1954 and the Indian Embassy in Warsaw was opened in 1957. During the Cold War, both Warsaw and New Delhi had close ties with the Soviet Union and this made them natural friends. On 25 January 1977 an agreement on operation of air services between two countries was signed in New Delhi.[5]

After the Collapse of Soviet Union, both countries have focused on improving ties with the European Union and America. Even after 1989 relations with India have maintained continuity and have remained on an even keel reflecting relations with India were not an adjunct of the Cold War and are based on sound principles. Contacts between the Indian and Polish Parliaments were established after the overthrow of the Communist system in 1989. A Polish parliamentary delegation led by the Marshal of the Sejm, had visited India in December 1992. A Polish-Indian Parliamentary Group had been set up during the term of the last Parliament which held office from 1996 to 2001. Speaker of Lok Sabha, Manohar Joshi led a multi-party Parliamentary delegation to Poland from 22 to 26 May 2002. Also Speaker of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, Jozef Oleksy, led a Polish parliamentary delegation to India from 9 to 11 December 2004. In April 2009, Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil visited Poland.[1] In September 2010, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk visited India and met with Indian politicians and businessmen.

Economic ties[edit]

The bilateral trade between two countries has grown about eleven times from 1992 to 2008.[1] Bilateral trade, which totaled US$ 675.73 million (approximately INR3,825 crores) and US$ 861.78 million (approximately INR4,873 crores) in 2006 and 2007 respectively, crossed US$ 1 billion (approximately INR5,700 crores) in 2008 with US$ 1274.77 million[1] (approximately INR7,000 crores) During 2005, major Indian companies signed several agreements on investments that are expected to create more than 3,500 new jobs in Poland.[6] India's major exports to Poland include Tea, Coffee, Spices, Textiles, Pharmaceuticals, machinery and instruments, auto parts and surgical items. India's imports from Poland include Machinery except electric and electronic appliances, artificial resins, plastic material, non-ferrous metals and machine tools.[7] Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has sent several delegations to Poland to explore economic opportunities in various sectors.[7] Indian companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies, ZenSar and Videocon have already set up their bases in Poland.[8] Indo-Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IPCCI) was formed in 2008 to protect and represent the interests within the range of economic activity and to promote economic relations between India and Poland.[8] Poland has also shown interest to establish direct flights between the two countries by 2009.[9]

Both countries have long-standing history of cooperation in science and technology. The first Indo-Polish Agreement on this cooperation was signed in March 1974; subsequently, a new agreement with more focus Programmes of Cooperation (POC) in science and technology were signed between the two countries from time to time. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) have ongoing scientific exchange programs with the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN).[1]

Defence ties[edit]

India's defence relations with Poland have grown from military cooperation to comprehensive defence cooperation that includes courses, training for UN peacekeeping operations, and exchange of observers during army exercises.[10] India and Poland signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation in February 2003 during the visit of the Prime Minister of Poland Leszek Miller to India. India awarded contracts worth US $ 600 million (INR3.5 thousand-crores) to Poland for modernisation of tanks and the acquisition of air defence missiles. The T-72 tank with 800 horsepower engines were fitted with 1000 hp engine and also fitted with modern fire control systems and night vision equipment. Both India and Poland are considering privatising their defence industries and see good prospects for mutual investments.[11] Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor visited Warsaw in March 2008 followed by Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Ryszard Schnepf in June the same year.[12] India also acquired 625 assault parachutes from the Polish company Air-Pol with automatic devices ensuring their reliable opening, with a total value of US $1.5 million. India's growing defence buy-outs from Poland has disappointed Russia which had considered India a safe market for its military hardware.[13] Poland also delivered a batch of 80 WZT-3 ARVs to the Indian Army in 2001 for use in Kolar gold field facility in Karnataka and next in 2004. The final batch of 40 WZT-3 ARVs were assembled in India from kits supplied from Poland.[14]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Indo-Polish relations". Embassy of India in Poland. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Pollet, Gilbert (1995). Indian Epic Values: Rāmāyaṇa and Its Impact : Proceedings of the 8th International Rāmāyaạ Conference, Leuven, 6-8 July 1991. Leuven: Peeters Publishers. p. 89. ISBN 9789068317015. 
  3. ^ Okolski, Szymon (1641–45). Orbis Polonus splendoribus coeli, triumphis mundi, pulchritudine animantium condecoratus, in quo antiqua Sarmatorum gentiliata pervetusta nobilitatis insignia etc. specificantur et relucent [Polish Encyclopedia of the ancient Sarmatian families, the history of the coats of arms of the nobles of Poland old and new, their origin as awards for honorable deeds & the arms themselves specifically described and emblazoned] (in Latin) III. Kraków: In Officina Typographica Francisci Cæsarii. pp. 94–98.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Paprocki, Bartłomiej (1584). Herby Rycerztwa Polskiego [Coats of Arms of Polish Knights] (in Polish ; Latin). Kraków: Maciej Garwolczyk. pp. 557–558. 
  5. ^ "Indo-Polish Agreement on Air Services" (PDF). Foreign Affairs Record. XXIII (1): 2. January 1977. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "India, Poland to boost economic ties". IBTimes India. 18 May 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-04.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  7. ^ a b "POLISH ECONOMY-Foreign Trade". Confedaration of Indian Industry. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  8. ^ a b "Polish companies seek closer ties with India". IANS (Economic Times). 26 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  9. ^ "Poland invites Indian investments with focus on SME sector". Business Daily from THE HINDU. Jan 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  10. ^ "Indian Army chief to visit Poland, Belarus". NERVE. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  11. ^ "India, Poland deepen defence ties". The Hindu. Mar 20, 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-11.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  12. ^ "India, Poland defence ties strengthening: Raju". Economics times of India. 16 Jun 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  13. ^ "Polish military monthly reports on Defexpo". Bharat Rakshak. 20 March 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-11. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Indo-Polish Military Ties On The Upswing". Financial Express. May 19, 2003. Retrieved 2008-10-11.