Indo Kuwait Friendship

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the State of Kuwait share a friendly alliance between two countries. Kuwait domicile a huge expatriate Indian population and is the source for 10% of India's oil imports while India is among the largest trade partners of Kuwait. India and Kuwait enjoy traditionally friendly relations, rooted in history, and have stood the test of time.

Geographic proximity, historical trade links, cultural attractions and presence of 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 legal tender in Kuwait. Till the discovery and development of oil, Kuwait’s economy revolved around its fine harbor and maritime activities which included ship building, pearl diving, fishing and voyages to India on wooden dhows carrying dates, Arabian horses and pearls that were traded for wood, cereals, clothes and spices

Political Relations:
Ever since the independence of Kuwait from British protectorate India and Kuwait have had a healthy diplomatic relations. In June 1962 with the appointment of Yacoub AbdulAziz al-Rasheed as the first Kuwaiti Ambassador to India. India was among the earliest countries to recognize Kuwaiti independence while Kuwait was one of the first countries to extend support to India during the war with China in 1962.

High Level visits between India and Kuwait

To strength the bonds between two great nations there has been many high level visits from early days of independence by Vice President Dr. Zakir Husain in 1965, by Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi in 1981 and by Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari in 2009.

His Highness Crown Prince and Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah in 1964, the Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in 1980 and again in 1983 (for the NAM Summit), the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in 2006 and the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah in November 2013.

International Cooperation

India and Kuwait share common perceptions on various regional and international issues and have cooperated in regional and international forum. There have been several high level discussions and consultations at political and senior diplomatic levels as well as exchange of visits between the two countries.

Medical cooperation:

India and Kuwait have signed an MoU on Medical Cooperation on April 23, 2012 at New Delhi. A Joint Working Group on Medical Cooperation was set up and its first meeting was held in Kuwait in November 2013. To streamline the recruitment of nurses from India for work in Kuwait Asstt. Undersecretary Dr. Jamal Al Harbi and Dr Mahmoud Abdulhadi of Kuwaiti Health Ministry visited Kerala on April 15, 2016 and met the Kerala Chief Minister and NORKA Minister Shri K.C. Joseph.

Education

An “India Study Centre” at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Kuwait University was set up in December 2006. Now more than 20 Indian Schools in Kuwait are affiliated to our Central Board of Secondary Education where around 46,000 Indian students study. An Educational Exchange Program on Cooperation in Education and Learning (2013-16) was signed in November 2013.

Youth Affairs & Sports

A two-member Youth Delegation from Kuwait visited India from 9-15 March 2016 under the Youth Exchange Programme.

Indian Community in Kuwait

According to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior, there are approximately 800,000 Indians, who constitute the largest expatriate community in Kuwait. The Indian community is regarded as the community of first preference among the expatriates in Kuwait. Kuwait views India as a fast-growing economy and a source of highly qualified professional and technical personnel. A large proportion of the Indian expatriates are unskilled and semiskilled workers. Professionals like engineers, doctors, chartered accountants, scientists, software experts, management consultants, architects; skilled workers like technicians and nurses; semi-skilled workers; retail traders and businessmen are also present in the Indian community.

Approximately 300 associations exist within the Indian community in Kuwait, representing a variety of regional, professional, and cultural interests. Of these, 128 Associations are presently registered with the Embassy. Cultural events are organized regularly by these associations through the year, to which leading Indian artistes are often invited.

There are 20 plus Indian Schools in Kuwait affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi.

Vaccine Maitri

India under the 'Vaccine Maitri' initiative has planned to export the vaccines to other countries to inoculate people against the shortfall in the availability of vaccines.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had earlier said that the capacity to produce vaccines of India is one of the 'best assets that the world has today'. To which, Hon’ble external affairs minister replied that the global community can count on the 'Pharmacy of the World'.

A consignment of Indian-made vaccines arrived in Kuwait in the early February 2021, adding that it shows the close friendship and strong ties between the two nations. "Made in India vaccines now reach Kuwait. Valuing our close friendship and strong ties,

Vande Bharat Mission

Last but not least, agreement between India and Kuwait, under this agreement Kuwait and India agreed to operate the flights starting from August 10 to repatriate stranded Indians in Kuwait due pandemic COVID 19 which proved to be a great help for Indian community.

Useful Resources:
Embassy on India, Kuwait website: https://indembkwt.gov.in/index.php
Embassy on India, Kuwait Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com / indianembassykuwait;







Jovina Joseph, 9-C, Carmel School



By:
Jovina Joseph, 9-C, Carmel School
Disclaimer: Statements and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and written by them; the author is solely responsible for the content in this article. IndiansinKuwait.com does not hold any responsibility for them.

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