About Us Bilateral Relations


India and São Tomé and Principe (STP) have enjoyed warm and friendly relations since its independence in 1975. Leaders of the both countries have been meeting on the side lines of some of the international fora, such as UN, NAM, etc. Dr. Carlos Alberto Pires Tiny, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation & Communities visited India from 29th November to 2nd December, 2009. This was the first high-level visit on either side, since the island nation got its independence from Portugal in 1975.

During his visit, the Sao Tomean Foreign Minister held extensive discussions with Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs, which covered the entire gamut of bilateral relations. Both sides identified specific areas for expanding and strengthening bilateral cooperation. India assured Sao Tome and Principe of its support in the form of official developmental assistance, technical cooperation and capacity building to facilitate the rapid economic & social development of its people. In this context, the Government of India announced a grant of US$1 million for setting up a Technology Incubation-cum-Production Centre for development of SME sector and another grant of Rs.10 million for meeting immediate requirements in education and health sectors. It was also agreed to favourably consider a Line of Credit for US$5 million for priority projects to be identified by the STP side in the fields of agriculture, capacity building and infrastructure. However, till date STP has not utilised any LOC or grant.

Recognising the pioneering role played by India in promoting South-South Cooperation and its significant contribution in international peace-keeping, Sao Tome and Principe announced its support for India to become a Permanent Member of an expanded UN Security Council. It also assured India of its support for a Non-Permanent seat for the term 2011-2012. Both the Ministers signed a Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations, enabling senior officials of the respective Foreign Ministries to have regular interaction on bilateral, regional and international issues. Sao Tome and Principe became the 47th country to join the Government of India's Pan-African e-Network Project, when the Minister signed the MOU with TCIL. TCIL however failed to implement Network Project.


During the visit of Foreign Minister Dr Carlos Tiny to India in November 2009, a Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations between India and STP was signed. Shri M.J. Akbar, MOS for External Affairs visited Sao Tome in March 2018. During the visit, Agreement on Economic Cooperation, MOU on Cooperation on Traditional Medicine, and MOU on Cooperation on Medicinal Plants were signed during the visit. Mr. Afonso da Graca Varela, former Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Parliamentary Affairs visited India to attend the 1st ISA Summit in New Delhi on March 11, 2018. Former Foreign Minister Mr. Urbino Botelho visited India on September 8, 2018 to sign a Framework Agreement.


The trade between India and STP is almost negligible. Though STP importers are interested in procuring various items of interest from India, one of the constant complaints they have is that the shipping time and costs are quite high. Main items of imports have been pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, cotton and optical, photographic, medical instruments etc. Bilateral trade figures for the last 5 years are given below:


Bilateral Relations