Gulf Cooperation Council UPSC: Relevance
- GS 2: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
GCC and India: Context
- India’s trade with Gulf countries have come into prominence after the diplomatic row over derogatory comments made by the ruling BJP’s spokespersons against Prophet Muhammad.
GCC UPSC: Key points
- India imports majorly crude oil and natural gas from the Gulf nations like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. On the other hand, the major exports include pearls, precious and semi-precious stones; metals; imitation jewellery; electrical machinery; iron and steel; and chemicals to these countries.
- Other than trade, Gulf nations are host to a sizeable Indian population. Out of about 32 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), nearly half are estimated to be working in Gulf countries. These NRIs contribute to Indian economy by sending significant remittances.
Trade with GCC
- Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia was the fourth-largest trading partner of India in the last fiscal. Total bilateral trade has increased to about USD 43 billion in 2021-22 from USD 22 billion in the previous fiscal.
- Qatar: India imports 8.5 million tonnes a year of LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) from Qatar and exports products ranging from cereals to meat, fish, chemicals, and plastics. Two-way commerce between India and Qatar rose to USD 15 billion in 2021-22 from USD 9 billion in 2020-21.
- Kuwait: Kuwait was the 27th largest trading partner of India in the last fiscal. Bilateral trade has jumped to USD 12 billion in 2021-22 as compared to USD 6 billion in the previous financial year.
- UAE: UAE was the third-largest trading partner of India in 2021-22. India’s bilateral trade with the nation increased to USD 72 billion in 2021-22 as compared to USD 43 billion in 2020-21.
- Oman: Oman was the 31st largest trading partner of India in 2021-22. India’s bilateral trade with the nation has increased to about USD 10 billion in 2021-22 as compared to USD 5 billion in 2020-21.
- Bahrain: Bahrain’s two-way commerce with India stood at USD 1.65 billion in 2021-22 as against USD 1 billion in 2020-21.
- Established in 1981, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a political and economic union of Arab states bordering the Gulf.
- GCC members: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain.
- The GCC’s prime geographical location is at the crossroads of the major Western and Eastern economies.
- Since the discovery of oil, the GCC region has undergone a profound transformation and is now home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world.
- The established and efficient air and sea connections and developed infrastructure make it a great place to establish and expand business.
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