Traditionally both Kuwait and India enjoy a warm and cordial relationship, which is rooted in history and sustained people-to-people contact. The year 2020-2021 was celebrated as the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between the two nations. India has always been a natural trading partner of Kuwait and until the year 1961, Indian Rupee was a legal tender in Kuwait.
Till the discovery and advancement in oil, the economy of Kuwait revolved around its fine harbor and maritime activities including shipbuilding, fishing, pearl diving, voyages to India on the wooden dhows that would carry dates, Arabian horses, and pearls that were traded for cereals, woods, spices, and clothes.
Recently as part of the high political exchanges between Kuwait and India, the External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S. Jaishankar held a telephone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs State of Kuwait, Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, according to a press release issued by the Embassy of India in Kuwait. During the telephone communication, both leaders discussed important areas of bilateral relations and exchanged views on the regional and global developments of mutual interest.
Incidentally, both foreign affairs ministers have served previously as ambassadors of their respective countries in the United States of America. Dr. Jaishankar fondly recalled the official visit to Kuwait in the year 2021, wherein he called on the Prime Minister of Kuwait, and a letter from the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi was delivered and addressed to the HH the Amir of Kuwait.
The official visit of Dr. Jaishankar to Kuwait culminated with the signing of several MoUs including the MoU on ‘Cooperation in the Recruitment of Domestic Workers’. The Foreign Minister of Kuwait also paid an official visit to India earlier in March 2021. In August 2021, the Foreign Minister of Kuwait and EAM also met in Tehran on the sidelines of their visit to Iran, which was organized to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Iranian President. Both nations have also elevated the joint commission meeting to the Foreign Ministry level.
Commercially India has consistently been among its top ten trading partners in Kuwait. The Bilateral Trade between the nations stood at US & 12.24 billion in FY 2021-2022 registering a growth of 95.3 percent on annual basis. The vibrant and strong million-plus Indian community in Kuwait has become a living bridge between the two countries.