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Long live Indo-Kuwait Friendship

Lakshmi Nanda Madhusoodhanan, IIK Young Reporter Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Long live Indo-Kuwait Friendship

India and Kuwait by tradition are friendly nations, rooted in history and have stood the test of time. Geographic proximity, historical trade links, cultural affinities and presence of a large number of Indian nationals in Kuwait continue to sustain and nurture this long-standing relationship. India has been a natural trading partner of Kuwait and until 1961 Indian Rupee was the currency in Kuwait. Before the discovery and development of oil, Kuwait’s economy revolved around pearl diving, fishing and voyages to India on wooden dhows carrying dates, Arabian horses and pearls that were traded for fine wood, cereals, clothes and spices of India.

Indo-Kuwaiti relations have always had an importance of trade. India has constantly been among the top trading partners of Kuwait. Kuwait has been a dependable provider of crude oil to India. During 2017-18, Kuwait was the ninth largest oil supplier to India and it meets about 4.63% of India’s energy needs. Total bilateral trade with Kuwait during 2016-17 was US$ 5.9 billion and for 2017-18 was US$ 8.53 billion.

Kuwait, an incredible country, is an abode to approximately 800,000 Indians ranging from domestic labourers to Health care professionals, IT professionals, Entrepreneurs. In addition to that Indians constitute the largest expatriate community in Kuwait. Being a country with a large number of Indians, Kuwait is home to 17 schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). And in this amazing land, generations of Indian families have grown and lived their full life.

Kuwait has always remained a loving home to Indians for all these years and still continue to do so. Well, how can India reciprocate the love and care given to Indians by Kuwait? There are several areas to be explored further which is beneficial for Kuwait and India alike; Tourism, Education and Health care to mention a few.


India is a country which is highly diverse with a varied number of stunning landscapes. With different cultures, variety of flora and fauna ranging from the snow-covered Himalayas in the north to the tropical forests and backwaters in the south. India is home to the finest architectural heritage, serene Ghats, spectacular landscapes and largest tiger reserve.

You can find the heaven on earth, Jammu and Kashmir by flying just 3.5 hours from Kuwait. Kashmir is now a peaceful union territory, with mesmerizing places like the Dal Lake, where one boat trip is enough to awe you with its beauty which is unforgettable throughout your life.

With the Thar Desert in the west, India has landscapes which are not the same. In the North and Central India, we have many national reserves like the Corbett National Park. India similarly has monuments like the Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar which shows the diversity in India. And yes, of course, we have the picturesque backwaters of Kerala and the lush green hill stations in Ooty and Munnar to the south. With all these apple of the eye touristic attractions, Kuwait can explore India’s beauty. Over 10.6 million foreign tourists have arrived in India in the year 2018.

2. Education

"We owe a lot to the Indians who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made"-Albert Einstein. India has been a major seat of learning for thousands of years. From Takshashila, the first university in the world to innumerable discoveries in various fields, India has a number of elite education institutions and studying in India has a number of advantages which are low cost but quality education and unique courses.

India provides quality education for lower fees compared to the rest of the world. India has leading institutions where foreigners study like Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management, and the list goes on. Other than this, Indian institutions offer various courses which were developed by the traditional knowledge passed through generations in India. And these courses include Ayurveda, Yoga etc. which attracts foreign students to India. The National Law School of India University is very much considered, with some of its students being awarded “Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford University”. Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are the top management institutes in India. Indian Technical Education is very strong these days and there are several thousand colleges in India which provide technical education.

Kuwait has a bright youth, they can benefit from the elite institutes of India.

3. Healthcare

Medical tourism is a growing sector in India. It is projected to grow by 2020, hitting $9 billion. In the year 2018, more than 500,000 patients visited India to seek medical care. Woah that is huge numbers in there, and what is the reason behind it? It is because there are a huge number of advantages.

• Low Cost

Cost of medical treatment in India is comparatively lower among the leading countries in the medical field. Alternative medicine, bone-marrow transplant, cardiac bypass, eye surgery, and hip replacement are the most common treatment done by medical tourists.

• Quality of healthcare

Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is the health capital of India and the reason behind Chennai adorned with the term “India’s Health Capital” is the low costs, little waiting period, and facilities offered at the specialty hospitals in the city. The country even provides services after treatment for patients to rest. After treatment, the patient has the option of either getting better in the hospital or at a paid accommodation nearby. Many hospitals also give the option of continuing the treatment through telemedicine.

• Travel is easy!

It is really hard to travel especially while going for treatment as there are a number of procedures to be followed. But India has made it simple! The government has removed visa restrictions on tourist visas that required a two-month gap between consecutive visits for people from Gulf countries.

• Language

Yes, India is a diverse country with countless languages. Worried about in which medium to communicate? No worries, English is one of the official languages in India and is mostly used by the medical community. There are even translators in some hospitals across India to make communication easier.

What about Ayurvedic Treatment? Foreigners who come to India for Ayurveda may find it's more affordable than in other countries even counting travel costs. Other advantages to seeking Ayurvedic treatment in India include the availability of herbs and other ingredients.

Trust and cooperation keeps the ties alive and strong. And India and Kuwait has done just that and more, powering through the test of time. Long Live Indo-Kuwait Friendship.

Lakshmi Nanda Madhusoodhanan
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