Round Table Discussion on “India, Kuwait and changing dynamics in the Middle East” led by H.E. Sami Mohammad Al-Sulaiman​, Ambassador of ​ Kuwait to India on June 11, 2015

Society for Policy Studies in collaboration with the Embassy of Kuwait held a Round Table on ” India, Kuwait and the changing dynamics in the Middle East” led by H.E. ​Sami Mohammad Al-Sulaiman​, Ambassador of Kuwait to India[Download Presentation]

Venue: The Embassy of Kuwait, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

Summary of the Round Table

India and Kuwait have enjoyed friendly diplomatic relations since the country’s independence in 1961.India had supported Kuwaiti in its quest for independence from colonial powers. India is the second largest buyer of Kuwaiti oil, second only to South Korea. . Kuwait is also the third largest supplier of hydro carbons to India after Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Investments between the two countries stands at 3 billion dollars . Former Ambassador Fabian noted that there is a great scope of improvement in doing business between the two countries.

Labour and employment form a significant component of the relationship between the two countries. The Indian expatriate community is about 560000 workers, who send back remittance of up to 5 billion dollars per year. A joint working group has been set up by the two countries to look into issues involving labour and environment

There is scope for greater cooperation in the areas of science and technology, Information technology, communications and education. On civil aviation, it was noted that Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, Kuwait Airways have direct flights to various Indian cities. Kuwait Airways currently flies up to 5200 seats and it is expected to expand up to 12000 seats. Prof. Zikrur Rahman pointed to Kuwait’s generous support to help establish the National School of Drama and Indian theater.

A stable regime, open market, conducive legal environment and tax concessions make Kuwait an ideal place to do business. Kuwait is lauded for its humanitarian work especially in Syria and Palestine. It is an important member in the Organization of Islamic countries and has played an instrumental role in the development of member states. India received eight development loans through Kuwait Fund for Arabic development. Kuwait’s humanitarian assistance received a special mention by the Ambassadors of member states like Iraq, Somalia and Sudan.

With respect to the current Modi administration Former Ambassador P.R. Chakravarty noted that there would be more open engagement with Israel. Although, this does not mean that it would come at the cost of the relationship with Arab countries.
Among those present were 15 Arab Ambassadors, former Indian Ambassadors K.V. Rajan, Ajai Malhotra, P.R. Chakravarty, R. Dayakar, Suresh Goel, representatives from think tanks like ICWA, IDSA, SPS and select media.

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