The relationship between Kuwait and India dates decades ago, and the country houses a large number of Indian workers. The two countries’ friendly ties over the years have continued to solidify and recently, India is seeking to have Kuwait investors take a new opportunity in the area of power sector and infrastructure. India is no doubt showcasing its expansion and growth and therefore has decided to hook up oil-rich Kuwait to tackle various sectors majorly in power and infrastructure.
India to give Kuwait such an opportunity is for their bilateral relationship that has blossomed for a long time and continues to positive birth results. The Finance Minister of India Nirmana Sitharaman recently had a meeting with Kuwait envoy to India is said to have borne fruit for Kuwait investors after getting a nod about several opportunities in different sectors.
According to Kuwait Ambassador to India Jassim Al- Najim, both private and public Kuwait, investors should take this opportunity to exploit the rapid Indian economic expansion. This is especially as the country is focusing on establishing more power plants and infrastructure such as railways, airways, modern road networks and profit from the huge Indian market that consists of more than 1.3 billion people.
The Indian Finance Minister was quick to recognize and appreciate the impressive results of Kuwait projects in the area of global oil refineries, especially that of Vietnam refinery in cooperation with the government of Japan at the cost of about $9 billion-plus the same cost for the Duqm refinery that is in Oman. Apart from power and infrastructure, Kuwait is also eyeing the petrochemical sector in India as part of its additional investments.
During the meeting with the India Finance Minister, Kuwait ambassador said Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) has plans to have more investments in India as the two countries continue to collaborate in various capacities. India and Kuwait relations are historical and have had for years an important trade dimension that is beneficial for both countries.
For instance, India has constantly been trading with Kuwait and is among the top ten best trading-partners. In the year2017 to 2018, Kuwait was among the 9th oil supplier to India and provided almost 5% of India’s energy needs. Further, India is seeking to have a considerable amount of Kuwait investments in the oil and gas sector. Other areas are large business houses that have investible surpluses, which is according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) brief about Kuwait and India connections.
From 2015 to 2016, total non-oil trade between the two countries increased by 11 percent, from $ 2, 150.63 million to $ 2, 405.40 million in 2017 to 2018. For India, non-oil exports to Kuwait have consistently displayed a positive trend for a couple of years without fluctuating. They increased by almost 20 percent from $ 1, 240.54 million in 2015 to 2016 to $ 1, 361.06 million in 2017 to 2018, according to MEA reports.
Many of Kuwait’s investments in India largely have been through portfolio managers. In 2015, Kia invested in the Interglobe Aviation’s IPO, and later the same year made a substantial investment of $ 300 million in GMR infrastructure LTD. It was estimated in 2015; both total countries’ investment was over $ 6 billion. That year, India exports to Kuwait increased by 4 percent ($ 1.24 billion), which included items such as electrical and engineering equipment, cereals, textiles, machinery, garments, mechanical appliances, chemicals, iron and steel.