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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Prospering relations of Kuwait and India

Hindustan Times   February 23, 2012
First Published: 22:20 IST(23/2/2012) | Last Updated: 22:21 IST(23/2/2012)

Warm and friendly contacts between India and Kuwait go back several centuries. The bilateral relations have prospered by the continuous intermingling of people and civilisations...

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The relations between Kuwait and India go back for many centuries and Kuwait has a long standing history of good, cordial and friendly relations with India. A collection of antiquities such as seals, pottery, jewellery recently discovered on the Kuwaiti Island of Failaka which was a convenient passage for ships sailing between Mesopotamia and India confirm the fact that their relations with India date back the fourth millennium BC.


 Kuwaitis immensely benefited from the cultural heritage that emanated from the historical relations between the Arabian Gulf region and India. Before the discovery of oil in Kuwaiti sailors used to sail annually from Shatt-al-Arab to the western port of India, carrying dates and horses of fine pedigree. The horse trade was stopped after World War -II in 1945. Then Kuwaitis started trading in pearls with India and in exchange took teakwood for ship building.

The diplomatic relations with India started in June 1962 with the appointment of Yacoub Abdulaziz al-Rasheed as the first Kuwaiti Ambassador in India after two years of Kuwait's independence. Since that time a number of decrees and agreements were issued to regulate bilateral relations between the two countries.

India has consistently been amongst the top few trading partners of Kuwait. Bilateral trade has been rising steadily in recent years. Kuwait India two way trade was close to US$11 billion in 2011, of which non-oil trade accounted for approximately 1.2 billion dollars. Kuwait is an important partner in India's quest for energy, annually providing 11-12 per cent of India’s crude oil imports.

The Indian community is one of the largest in Kuwait, numbering about 640,000 people who live and work in peace and freedom. The number of those working in technology is permanently increasing especially in electronic, industrial and architectural engineering sectors. The Ministry of Health employs a number of doctors, physicians and para-medical professionals.

Kuwait and its people are proud of their cultural heritage, determined to continue their social progress, and are confident about their future.

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