Gulf region

  • IASbaba
  • June 9, 2022
  • 0
Geography, International Relations
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In News: Recently, the ruling party of India suspended its national spokesperson and expelled its Delhi spokesperson, following comments they had made about Islam and the Prophet

  • The move came after three countries in the Gulf region had summoned the Indian ambassadors to their nations to register their protest
  • The ruling party’s action underlines the significance of the Gulf region for India
  • Barring the Jewish state of Israel, the 10 other countries of the Gulf region — Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan and Yemen — together account for one-fifth of the world’s Muslim population, and are among the strongest voices of the Muslim world.

Why is the region important for India?

  • The two most important reasons for the relationship are oil and gas, and trade.
  • Two additional reasons are the huge number of Indians who work in the Gulf countries, and the remittance they send back home.


  • UAE: The UAE was India’s third-largest trading partner in 2021-2022, and second-largest for both exports ($28 billion) and imports ($45 billion)
  • The UAE accounted for 6% of India’s total exports and 7.3% of imports in the last financial year
  • Saudi Arabia: At a total volume of $42.9 billion in 2021-22, Saudi Arabia was India’s fourth-largest trading partner.
  • Iraq: It was India’s fifth-largest trading partner in 2021-22 at $34.3 billion.
  • Qatar: The total trade was $15 billion, accounting for just 1.4% of India’s total trade, but the country is India’s most important supplier of natural gas.
  • Qatar accounts for 41% of India’s total natural gas imports. The UAE accounts for another 11%.


  • The share of Persian Gulf countries in India’s crude imports has remained at around 60% over the last 15 years.
  • In 2021-2022, the largest exporter of oil to India was Iraq, whose share has gone up from 9% in 2009-2010 to 22%.

Indian Diaspora in Gulf Countries

  • The Gulf has the largest Indian Diaspora working there.
  • The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait together account for over half of all NRIs.
  • In terms of remittances from abroad, India was the largest recipient in 2020 at $83.15 billion. The largest contributor is the huge Indian diaspora in the Gulf.

India has underlined the importance of Gulf countries by frequent visit by Indian delegations to the region and the Gulf countries have reciprocated the same. It is highly important that India maintain a cordial relationship with these countries given their importance in India growth and development.

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following statements (2022)

  1. Armenia
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Croatia
  4. Romania
  5. Uzbekistan

Which of the above are the members of the Organization of Turkic states?

  1. 1, 2 and 4
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 5
  4. 3, 4 and 5

Source: Indian Express

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