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Friendship Between Kuwait and India

Leah Elsa Ranjan,VIII-C, Carmel School
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Friendship is not just a bond created between two people. It could be between groups, communities, or even nations. Despite the barriers such as languages, cultures ad etiquette, two entirely different nations can definitely bring out the best of each other. Such is an example of Kuwait and India.

On hearing the word ‘Kuwait’, the first few images that come across our mind are the numerous oil wells, infrastructure, traditions and of course, the warm ambience of the citizens. Although this is just a gist of the entire beauty of the country, it is definitely something to thoroughly enjoy. On the other hand, India is known for its rich culture and diversity. Be it Hindus, Muslims or Christians, everyone plays a role in the country’s uniqueness. The different languages, festivals, sophistications and practices make it a very interesting and inviting country.

Now, comparing the two, one can easily find that apart from the friendly aura of both nations, there is hardly anything alike between them. But that doesn’t stop them from being of great help to each other.

Kuwait houses a large expatriate Indian population and is the main source of India’s oil imports while India is among the largest trade partners of Kuwait. Indian nationals are the largest expatriate community in Kuwait, and their presence in white collar jobs have been increasing consistently, especially in the electronic, industrial, architectural and engineering sectors. Kuwait’s Ministry of Health also employs a significant number of Indian medics and paramedics. Their contribution to the development of prosperity of Kuwait is noteworthy.

Until 1961, the Indian Rupee was the legal tender in Kuwait. Till the discovery of oil, Kuwait’s economy revolved around its fine harbor and maritime activities which include ship building, pearl diving, fishing and voyages to India on dhows, carrying dates that were traded for wood, cereals, clothes and spices. Indo-Kuwaiti commerce revolved mainly around trade in agricultural goods, textiles and horses.

The balance of trade is heavily in favor of Kuwait with Indian exports to Kuwait amounting to a huge sum. Petroleum exports from Kuwait make it India’s second largest supplier of oil from the GCC countries next to Saudi Arabia.Indian exports to Kuwait consist of value added goods such as iron and steel products, boilers, machinery, mechanical appliances, electrical machinery, equipment, and food items. Kuwait is India’s third largest trade partner in the Arab world.

The beautiful comradeship between Kuwait and India is indeed a commendable one begun centuries ago. And hopefully we can continue to view this lovely companionship in the future as it goes on forever.

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