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India’s trade with GCC nations increasing at rapid pace

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NEW DELHI : India’s trade with Gulf nations has come into prominence recently. India imports predominately crude oil and natural gas from the Gulf nations like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and exports pearls, precious and semi-precious stones; metals; imitation jewellery; electrical machinery; iron and steel; and chemicals to these countries.

During 2020-21, India imported goods worth $110.73 billion from the six GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) nations. Its merchandise exports stood at $44 billion to these nations.

Besides trade, Gulf nations are host to a sizeable Indian population. Out of about 32 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), nearly half are estimated to be working in Gulf countries.

These NRIs send a significant amount of money back home.

According to a November 2021 report of the World Bank, India got $87 billion in foreign remittances in 2021. Of this, a sizeable portion came from the GCC nations.

Trade with GCC nations:

  • Saudi Arabia: It was the fourth-largest trading partner last fiscal. Total bilateral trade has increased to about $43 billion in 2021-22 from $22 billion in the previous fiscal.
  • Qatar: India imports 8.5 million tonnes a year of LNG from Qatar and exports products ranging from cereals to meat, fish, chemicals, and plastics. Two-way commerce between India and Qatar rose to $15 billion in 2021-22 from $9.21 billion in 2020-21.
  • Kuwait: It was the 27th largest trading partner of India in the last fiscal. Bilateral trade has jumped to $12.3 billion in 2021-22 as compared to $6.3 billion in the previous financial year.
  • UAE: It was the third-largest trading partner of India in 2021-22. India’s bilateral trade with the nation increased to $72.9 billion in 2021-22 as compared to $43.3 billion in 2020 21.
  • Oman: It was the 31st largest trading partner of India in 2021-22. India’s bilateral trade with the nation has increased to about $10 billion in 2021-22 as compared to $5.5 billion in 2020-21.
  • Bahrain: Two-way commerce with India stood at $1.65 billion in 2021-22 as against $1 billion in 2020-21.

Besides, India’s bilateral trade with Iran aggregated to $1.9 billion in 2021-22 as compared to $ 2.1 billion in 2020-21.

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