India celebrates the 75th anniversary of its independence on 15 August 2022. Celebrating this joyous event, The Times Kuwait extends warm greetings and best wishes to all Indians and to the many well-wishers of India in Kuwait. We also take this opportunity to convey our best wishes for the continued good health and well-being of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al Nawaf Al-Sabah, to the Government and to the friendly people of the State of Kuwait. On this occasion we take a brief look at bilateral relations between India and Kuwait and how the strong ties between the two friendly countries have withstood the test of time and grown stronger over the years.


Close and friendly relations between India and Kuwait are rooted in history and have withstood the currents of time. Discovery of Indian artifacts such as pottery and jewelry from Failaka Island in Kuwait point to commercial and cultural interactions dating back several millennia. Over the centuries, historical trade links, arising from geographical proximity and cultural affinities, gave rise to social ties that have been cemented over time.

Relations between the two countries before the discovery of oil in Kuwait involved seafaring Kuwaiti merchants traveling to ports along the western coast of India. Initially, trade was in dates, pearls and pedigreed Arabian horses for the stables of India’s maharajas and other wealthy families, in exchange for teak wood, food grains and most other essential commodities that Kuwait needed.

With the discovery in the late 1930s of oil in Kuwait, the country embarked on a path of progress and transformation that led to the creation of a modern independent state in 1961. India was among the first countries to recognize the independent State of Kuwait in 1962, and this gesture of solidarity was reciprocated when Kuwait became one of the first countries to lend moral support to India during the Chinese aggression of 1962.

Kuwait and its new-found wealth soon attracted Indian workers, technicians and merchants to the country; first in a trickle and then in a flow which has continued over the years.

Today, the Indian diaspora in Kuwait form the largest expatriate community in the country. It is noteworthy that through the years, the leadership, government and people of both countries have remained committed to maintaining the age-old bilateral relations, and continue to look forward to strengthening and expanding this mutually enriching experience in the years to come.

To Kuwait, India is not only a major trading partner, Indians also account for the largest expatriate community in the country. By the end of 2020, the size of the Indian community in Kuwait reached almost a million contributing to the economic growth of Kuwait.

Through the centuries of trade and cultural ties, and the six decades of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the relationship has gone from strength to strength and enhanced the people-to-people relations. The presence of nearly a million Indians in Kuwait and the thousands of Kuwaitis who make regular trips to India for business, education, tourism and healthcare needs, attest to the ongoing strong ties between peoples of the two countries.

India-Kuwait bilateral relations have continued to intensify with an increasing number of high-level bilateral visits on both sides.India has consistently been among the top-ten trading partners of Kuwait. Of this trade, India imports mainly oil and its derivatives, while Indian exports to Kuwait include food items, cereals, textiles, garments, electrical and engineering equipment,ceramics, machinery and mechanical appliances, cars, trucks, buses, tyres, chemicals, jewelry, handicrafts, metal products, iron and steel, and others.

Indian public sector companies in the aviation, insurance, and telecommunication sectors have been operating in Kuwait for ages, while Indian private companies from the construction, power and petroleum sectors, such as Larsen & Toubro, Punj Lloyd and Kalpataru have implemented several major projects in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, state-owned companies in Kuwait such as Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and Kuwait Airways have offices in India and several large companies from the private sector in Kuwait, including Alghanim Group, the KAPICO Group, Global Investment House and Kuwait Finance House have been doing business in India. In recent years, India and Kuwait have been exploring possibilities of joint-venture projects in the oil and gas sector in both countries, and Indian companies are active in bidding for projects in Kuwait’s mega infrastructure development programs.

As part of its efforts to improve and increase trade, commerce and tourism, the Indian Embassy in Kuwait regularly organizes trade exhibitions, seminars, and facilitates participation of Indian delegations in international trade exhibitions in Kuwait, as well as encourages business delegations from Kuwait to visit India.
India and Kuwait participate in various global forums and international gatherings where the two sides share consensus on issues of global dimension, and support just causes around the world. Both countries have called for non-interference in the internal matters of other countries, constructive engagement over aggression, non-discriminatory global trade practices, equitable global responsibility for the protection of the environment, disarmament, regional stability, international peace and sustainable growth among other issues.

In the three-quarters of a century that India has been independent, the country has achieved tremendous growth and development that has at times been slow and at others rapid. Through these often tumultuous and checkered years, India has maintained a proactive and pragmatic foreign policy that fundamentally considers the world community as part of a single large global family whose members must live together in peace and harmony, work and grow together, and have trust in each other for the benefit of all humanity.

This Indian growth story and its success is a triumph of our collective human spirit — it is a triumph of hope, of devotion, of hard work, of dedication to not only the well-being of the people of our nation but also to those in other countries and to the larger cause of humanity.

As the two countries complete their historic 60 years of diplomatic relations, it bears remembering that the destinies of India and Kuwait are inter-linked by centuries of historical ties, close geographic proximity, strong cultural affinity and an open and broadminded viewpoint that embraces diversity and pluralism. The overarching vision that Kuwait and India have for a future is also defined within the shared parameters of peace, stability and economic prosperity, democratic values and a global outlook. To ensure a stable and secure regional environment and continued economic prosperity for its people, Kuwait and India must consciously work towards nurturing and developing the strategic relations that have epitomized their interactions for centuries.

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