The GCC has been part of India’s “extended neighbourhood”, the Arabian as the link, for about four millennia now, with historic links of trade and culture. Now, those links are being strengthened and reinvigorated like never before, with the addition of strategic and security cooperation and partnership.
And, the ties are for real. The GCC states are India’s largest trading partner with India. The six members of the GCC control around 45% of the world’s recoverable oil and 20% of natural gas resources. GCC states supply about 50% of India’s oil and gas needs and remarkably this is set to grow with the Gulf exports to India growing at an astounding 43% annually for the last decade.
Trade apart, one of the bedrock of the bilateral relations has been the seven million Indians living in the Gulf countries who not only form almost 40% of the workforce in the GCC states but who send back remittances worth $40 billion annually to India.
As India ‘links West’, the GCC is “looking East” as it is buffeted by the structural shifts in the global energy market, with the price of oil and gas registering a marked decline and the energy-dependency of the developed West on the Middle East eroding. This also entails the GCC striving to diversify their revenue sources to more sustainable sources, and investments in the huge Indian market is a ready and willing opportunity. As an instance, the UAE and India have agreed to set up a $75 billion UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund to support investments over a 10-year period in India's infrastructure sector.
With COVID-19 severely impacting economies, businesses, and livelihoods across the globe, the importance of resilience has become even more prominent. The pandemic has posed infinite challenges, as well as unexplored opportunities, for India and the GCC region to take their engagements to a new level. With disrupted supply chains and processes, countries should deepen their ties and reaffirm their commitments for each other. There is an increased importance of sharing, communicating, and cross-leveraging each other’s experience to gain a speedy rebound in the post Covid-19 era. Thus, there lies exponential potential to expand the GCC strategic partnership which has been solidifying and rapidly developing over the years.
The India-GCC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the operationalising of the India-GCC Framework Agreement are also on the anvil and seen to have the potential to double the quantum of GCC-India trade, from what is already a strong base. That, as they, would be the way to go for GCC-India relations. In fact, a Brookings Institute report argues that “India-GCC ties will be among the most important relationships for both sides in the coming decades.”
The Conference will seek to promote and galvanise GCC-India linkages to leverage the potential of trade and investment between the two to their true and immense potential.
Cooperation in the sectors such as Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare, Infrastructure development, Manufacturing, Food and Energy Security, Tourism, Logistics and Supply Chain can be looked into for strengthening the bilateral relationship for the mutual benefit of both GCC member countries and India.
Birth of the GCC - India Industrial Conference
This conference was first conceptualised and organised by CII, under the auspices of Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. The 1st edition was held in Mumbai in 2004, 2nd was held in Muscat, Oman in 2006, 3rd in Mumbai in 2007 and the 4th one in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2015. Over the last 4 editions, the conference had strong participation from GCC States including Ministerial & Business Delegations and was very well received by the Indian Business Community, who have actively built bridges to strengthen the partnership between our two regions.
Objectives of the Conference
- Create and provide a common platform for decision makers from GCC countries to meet a range of Indian business leaders and companies at one place. Indian companies engaged in trading, manufacturing, processing, engineering, consultancy, construction and supply of project goods will be present.
- Identify and showcase ‘specific projects’ for investment and partnerships by GCC companies in line with their national strategy and sectoral priorities.
- Showcase the strengths of Indian Industry, and the opportunities available in GCC countries for collaboration and investments.
- Project and showcase the capabilities, range and depth of Indian industry.
- Discuss opportunities for participation of Indian companies in investment and trade in GCC countries.
- Facilitate interaction and business meetings of Indian government and Indian funding agencies with visiting decision makers from the GCC countries.
- Facilitate focused and individualised one-to-one business meetings between the visiting decision-makers and Indian business leaders.
- Present a strategy for facilitating a quantum jump in Indian participation in projects in GCC countries, as well as GCC participation in Indian projects.
About the Conference
The Conference envisages deep knowledge exchanges between the GCC and Indian business leaders in diverse fields, such that they fructify into long-term cross-border business partnerships and investments. Keeping in view the imperative of accelerating GCC-India business exchanges, the Conference will begin with a context setting session where the current global economic environment, as also the prevailing economic circumstances of GCC countries and India, will be analysed and opportunities for multi-pronged business partnerships get discussed.
To ensure that the deliberations are business-focused and outcome-based, the plenary sessions will all have sectoral focus, touching upon key areas: Agriculture, Food Processing, Energy, Packaging and Logistics, Infrastructure, Power, Real Estate, Manufacturing 4.0, Healthcare, Pharma & Life Sciences amongst others.
The Conference will be a two day programme with sessions, with B2B meetings organised in parallel. Apart from the sessions and interactions in the Conference, visit of the delegations to on-site manufacturing and service facilities will also be facilitated and arranged.
Registration Link: https://www.ciihive.in/5thINDGCC