The relations that bind the Gulf and India are based not only on trade and commerce but history and culture. In the Gulf, millions of Indians live and work and it forms the biggest chunk of remittances to India.
Over the years, India’s business connections with these countries have only become stronger. For its oil needs, India relies heavily on this region.
Indians make up more than a third of the UAE‘s population. In the Gulf, there are 89 lakh Indian citizens.
Some of the major retail stores and restaurants in the Gulf countries are owned by Indians. The calls to boycott Indian products could hit businesses owned by Indians.
The United Arab Emirates is India’s third-largest trading partner.
The Gulf states also rely on India. After the United States, the UAE is India’s second-largest export destination and third-largest trading partner.
India and the UAE’s bilateral trade was valued at $72.9 billion in 2021-22, with India’s exports accounting for $28.4 billion.
Under the newly concluded Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, total trade is expected to reach $100 billion by 2026.
The Gulf region is especially reliant on food and cereal imports; over 85% of their food and 93% of their cereals are imported.
Rice, buffalo meat, spices, marine products, fruits, vegetables, and sugar are all key exports from India.
The aviation industry of Gulf countries* rely heavily on AAE Indian flyers. The advent of global transit hubs in the Gulf, serviced by local airlines such as Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways, has reduced the share of the lucrative international travel market held by US and India-based airlines.
Around half of remittances to India come from just five Gulf countries
In 2018, just five Gulf countries accounted for more than half of all remittances.
Kerala has the highest percentage of remittances, while Delhi’s share has risen in recent years. UP and Bihar have experienced substantial growth.
The Gulf supplies over 60% of India’s crude.
India imports a significant amount of crude oil from Gulf countries, not just to meet its energy needs but also for strategic and security reasons.Hardeep Puri, India’s petroleum minister, told Parliament in March that the country consumes 5 million barrels of oil per day, with 60 percent of that coming from the Gulf.
(Data taken from Times of India)