Relations with GCC
1. Trade : The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is India’s second-largest trading partner, the largest single origin of imports into the country, and the second largest destination for exports from India.
The GCC countries supply 45 per cent of India’s petroleum, with the UAE being the sixth largest source of imports of crude oil.
2. The region remains a major destination for Indian investment. India hopes that major GCC states such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Oman will participate in its planned infrastructure expansion.
3. Human Resources: Meanwhile, the Gulf states are interested in human resources from India in order to develop sectors as varied as information technology, construction, transportation and services.
4. Energy and Trade Security :India’s trade and energy security is inextricably linked to the security of the Straits of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb. With this in mind, the Indian Navy regularly visits Gulf ports, and trains with states in the region. It has undertaken a series of naval exercises with a number of Gulf States in recent years, thereby helping in expanding India’s reach in the region. Indian warships have also been deployed in the Gulf of Aden to carry out anti-piracy patrols.
5. Expatriate labour : In addition, Indians are the largest expatriate community in the GCC states, numbering around 7 million. There are an estimated 2.6 million Indians in the UAE alone. Indian expatriate labour constitutes around 30 per cent of the total population of the UAE, and Indians have a significant presence in Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar.
6. Remittances : India receives around 52 per cent of its remittances from its Gulf expatriates, which have contributed significantly to India’s economic resurgence, even as there have been growing concerns about the living and working conditions in the host countries.
Steps taken to secure welfare of labour
India is pursuing manpower and labour agreements with Gulf states to help Indian workers in the region. It has also launched the e-Migrate system for recruitment of Indian workers across the 17 Emigration Check Required countries.
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf also called as the Gulf Cooperation Council is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.