Recently, three countries in the Gulf region had summoned the Indian ambassadors to their nations to register their protest, and demanded a public apology from India
Gulf countries and India
- India has enjoyed centuries of good relations with countries like Iran, while smaller gas-rich nation Qatar is one of India’s closest allies in the region.
- India shares good relations with most of the countries in the Gulf.
- The two most important reasons for the relationship are oil and gas, and trade.
- Two additional reasons are the huge number of Indians who work in the Gulf countries, and the remittance they send back home.
Importance of gulf for India:
- Crude Oil and Petroleum Import:
- The share of Persian Gulf countries in India’s crude imports has remained at around 60% over the last 15 years. In 2021-2022, the largest exporter of oil to India was Iraq.
- Indians Diaspora: Counting only the 13.4 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), the Gulf has the largest numbers. The UAE (3.42 million), Saudi Arabia (2.6 million) and Kuwait (1.03 million) together account for over half of all NRIs.
- In terms of remittances from abroad, India was the largest recipient in 2020 at $83.15 billion, according to World Bank data. The largest contributor is the huge Indian diaspora in the Gulf.
- Avoiding any such conflicts, there must be a clear synergy in India and the GCC countries consolidating their traditional areas of cooperation — energy, trade and investment.
- They need to adopt an integrated and cohesive approach to develop ties in diverse areas — renewables, water conservation, food security, digital technology and skills development.
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