India has traditionally enjoyed close and friendly relations with Arab countries. These relations date back to ancient times. There are important Indian investments in countries stretching from Oman to Egypt, Sudan and beyond. There have been cultural ties with the region throughout history. Much of India’s external trade passes along the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. India’s staunch commitment to the Palestinian cause, common views on major international developments and strong economic and commercial relations form the foundations of India. India’s institutionalised ties with Arab League have further strengthened India’s relations with Arab countries and this is exemplified by the exchanges that have taken place between India and Arab League in recent years.
Indian Community in Arab region
After the oil boom in major Arab countries, India was among the highest country which have sent its skilled and non-skilled labourer to fulfil the scarcity of manpower caused to the large industrial and infrastructure projects. In spite of unfavourable circumstance after Arab spring, Indian diaspora is increased in Arab region during the last six years. As on December 2016, total NRI Indians in Arab region are around the nine million. Majority of Indians reside in Saudi Arabia (36%), UAE (33%), Kuwait (11%), Oman (9%) and Qatar (7%) among the total Indians in Arab region. These Indian NRIs in Arab region contribute more than half (56%) share of total remittance inflow in India. As per 2015 estimates, total remittance received by India from Arab countries are 38644 million USD.
India’s trade with Arab
India’s trade with Arab countries are around 894 Crore INR during the month of November 2016, which includes export of 340 Crore INR and import of 555 Crore INR. Total Arab region constitutes of 17% of total India’s trade with the world. Leading countries among the Arab region for India’s total trade are UAE (44%), Saudi Arabia (23%), Iraq (10%), Qatar (7%) and Kuwait (5%). Overall balance of trade with Arab countries are unfavourable due to large import of petroleum oil from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait, while it has favourable trade with UAE, Oman and Egypt due to large export.
India’s investment with Arab
Arab countries are not much favourable nations to the investment for India, except of UAE. Total investment inflows from Arab countries to India are 83 USD million for the January 2017 and it constitutes to 4.47% only for the total investment inflows of India. While outward investment for Arab region from India are 41.41 USD million during January 2017 and it constitutes to 2.28% only for the total investment outflows from India.
India’s Tourism Relationship with Arab
India received 334 thousand foreign tourist from the Arab region during the year 2015, which constitute four percent of total tourist arrival in India. Leading countries are Oman (31%), Saudi Arabia (19%) and UAE (16%). While total Indian visited Arab countries in the year 2013 are 3773 thousand (excluding UAE). Most of India visited the Arab region due to pilgrim reason in Saudi Arabia (45% of total visitor in Arab region).
Updated on March 2017