Indo-Kuwait relations, a friendship that has stood the test of time
THE TIMES KUWAIT REPORT
Indian Ambassador H.E. Dr. Adarsh Swaika hosted a grand reception at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on 26 January to celebrate the 74th Republic Day of India. Addressing the large gathering of diplomats, special invitees and members of the Indian community, Ambassador Swaika noted that 26 January marks a historic milestone in India’s journey since it was on this very day in 1950 that the Constitution of India came into effect.
He added that “the Indian Constitution is a living document which has responded to the needs of the time. Equitable development has been the cornerstone of various socio-economic policies in India. Democracy, pluralism and unity in diversity are the traditional ethos of Indian society. India is home to all religions of the world where anyone is free to preach and practice his faith and religion. All these constitute fundamental tenets of the Indian Constitution.”
Elaborating on India the republic, the ambassador noted that India was home to one of the oldest living civilizations and is considered the mother of democracy and the ancient belief of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is a family) has become a beacon of our foreign policy as well. You can see its embodiment in the Indian foreign policy approaches and practices.
Pointing to the logo of the ongoing Indian Presidency of G-20, the ambassador pointed out that the presidency’s theme of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ was inspired by this philosophy. India’s recent tenure as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council was focused on ‘Reformed Multilateralism’ and other themes of global relevance. India’s ongoing Presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which Kuwait is one of the newest entrants, is geared towards harnessing innovations, start-ups, traditional medicine systems etc for the greater benefit of SCO countries.
Noting that the Indian developmental story in recent years continued to attract the attention of the international community, he highlighted some important facets of India as follows:
- A country with the world’s largest working population with an objective of ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ i.e a self-reliant India with its flagship scheme of ‘Make in India’;
- World’s fastest growing major economy that is projected to become the 3rd largest economy in the world by 2030.
- Preferred Foreign Investment destination with US$D85 billion of FDI inflows in 2021-22
- Global Pharmacy of the world as world’s largest vaccine and generic medicines producer
- Third in the world in number of Start-Ups (84,000+) and Unicorns (107)
- First in lowest manufacturing costs globally
- Has the world’s largest renewable energy expansion program
- Recorded the largest number of digital transactions in the world, and so on.
Ambassador Swaika also highlighted that 2023 was declared as the International Year of Millets by the UN in March 2021 based on a proposal mooted by India. India has since been at the forefront of this campaign with different events being planned domestically and across the world. “The Embassy will also be organizing a ‘Millet week’ in February and a millet month in June this year,” said the envoy.
He praised the bilateral relations with Kuwait, noting that they are indeed historical and time-tested underpinned by constant trade, economic and people to people linkages over the centuries. Most importantly, the leadership of both countries highly value the importance of this multifaceted relationship.
He further elaborated that the bilateral relations with Kuwait covered cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas. India was the 4th largest export destination for Kuwait and 6th largest with respect to its imports. Cooperation in the energy sphere continues to be the fulcrum of economic cooperation. Collaboration in education is well known with 25 Indian schools running in Kuwait with an enrollment of over 50,000 students. The strong and vibrant Indian community in Kuwait of approx one million is a living bridge between the two countries.
Ambassador Swaika stressed that the current level of bilateral relations was only a tip of the iceberg. He said “Kuwait with its 2035 developmental vision and India with its rising global and economic profile, have a lot more to cooperate and collaborate. This is where friends of India in Kuwait, and friends of Kuwait in India, apart from the governments of both countries, have an important role to play.”
He also applauded the role of the Indian community for their stellar contribution in being the bedrock of India-Kuwait partnership adding, “As Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi aptly put it in his recent address at the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention, you are the true ‘Rashtradoots’ (ambassadors) of India who continue to serve not only India but your home away from home, Kuwait.”
Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest for the evening and the Deputy Foreign Minister, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi praised the flourishing bilateral relations between Kuwait and India. He highlighted the distinguished relations between the two friendly nations, who demonstrate equal keenness to continue developing them. He added that his participation in this historical ceremony of the Indian embassy on the occasion of its Republic Day, proves the excellent bilateral ties between India and Kuwait.
He added that Kuwait was among the first countries to enter the Indian market through investments in many fields. He referred to the contributions of the Kuwait Fund for Economic Development, which financed many projects in infrastructure and other development projects of India. Highlighting that approximately one million Indian nationals currently reside in Kuwait, he said that they contributed significantly to the development of Kuwait, through their work in the government and private sectors.