Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a recent meeting with Kuwait envoy to India stated that there are several promising opportunities available for the Kuwaiti investors in different sectors in the backdrop of rapid economic growth and efforts to become a five trillion dollar economy by the 2022.
Kuwait Ambassador to India Jassim Al-Najim said, “Kuwaiti investors both from private and public sectors should exploit the rapid Indian economic growth especially when it is looking to establish more power plants and other infrastructure including modern road networks, airports and railways and benefit from the huge Indian market of more than 13 billion people.”
The Finance Minister also appreciated the success of Kuwaiti projects in the field of global oil refineries, especially the Vietnam refinery in cooperation with the Japanese government at a cost of around $ 9 billion and Duqm refinery in Oman at a similar cost. Kuwait is also interested in investing in India’s petrochemical sector.
The Ambassador on his part mentioned that the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) plans to increase investments in India
Historically, Indo-Kuwaiti relations have always had an important trade dimension. India has consistently been among the top ten trading partners of Kuwait. During 2017-18, Kuwait was the ninth largest oil supplier to India and it meets about 4.63% of India’s energy needs. “India is looking for a substantial Kuwaiti investments in oil & gas sector. Large business houses of Kuwaiti also have investible surpluses,” according to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) brief on India-Kuwait ties.
Total non-oil bilateral trade between India and Kuwait increased by about 11%, from $ 2,150.63 million in 2015-16 to $ 2,405.40 million in 2017-18. India’s non-oil exports to Kuwait are showing a positive trend for the past few years. Non-oil export from India to Kuwait increased by about 19.60%, from $ 1,240.54 million in 2015-16 to $ 1,361.06 million in 2017-18, according to MEA.
Total bilateral trade with Kuwait during 2015-16 was $ 6.2 billion. India’s exports to Kuwait grew by 4% ($ 1.24 billion) in 2015-16 vis-à-vis 2014-15. India’s exports to Kuwait included food items, cereals, textiles, garments, electrical and engineering equipment, machinery and mechanical appliances, cars, trucks, buses, tyres, chemicals, jewellery, handicrafts, metal products, iron and steel, etc, the MEA brief added.
Kuwaiti investment in India has been largely indirect through portfolio managers. In December 2015, KIA announced an investment of $ 300 million in GMR Infrastructure Ltd. Earlier, in October 2015, KIA made a substantial investment in the Interglobe Aviation’s (Indigo Airlines) IPO, according to the MEA brief.