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India’s Concerns & Policy
Options Amid Continued
Turmoil in Middle East
Zakir Hussain
Senior Fellow
Indian Council of World Affairs
Sapru House, New Delhi
Paper presented at International Conference on “Democratic
Upsurge in West Asia and North Africa: Global Concerns and
Implications for India’ , CWAS, JNU, 16-18 March 2017,
New Delhi, India
3/19/2017 1
Outline
•Importance of West Asia
•India’s Stakes
•India’s Concerns
•Policy & Options
•Bilateral Efforts of India
3/19/2017 2
Importance of the Region
• Energy Hub – Crude Oil and Natural Gas;
• Major say in OPEC, Arab League, OIC & Two Holy
places of 1.8 billion Muslims
• Important geostrategic location;
• Connects two water bodies- Indian & Pacific Ocean;
• Oil-Rich Countries Important Destination of foreign
labour force, including Indians;
• Two Choke Points, Bab-al-Mandeb & Strait of
Hormuz through which bulk of oil, gas;
• Oil-Rich GCC are enormous economic capacity &
potential- huge investment capital, rich-consumer
market, & effective link to the European Market
3/19/2017 3
India’s Stakes
• Crude Oil & Natural Gas (60-63% oil & 70% LNG-
LPG)
• Trade (US$170-180 billion)
• Overseas Employment Opportunities (only GCC-7 to
8 million)
• Remittances (45% of total US$65.5 billion)
• Our food security is based on rock & chemical
fertilizers & bulk are procured from the region
• Potential region for attracting investment capital –
Sovereign Wealth Fund, trillion of dollar.
3/19/2017 4
Share of West Asia in India’s Total Oil Import
67.9
67.2
68.1
67.4
73.4
72.5
73.7
71.5
65.2
64.5
69.1
61.5
63.4
60.1
0.0
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
60.0
70.0
80.0
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
2015-16
Source: MoPNG, GOI. 5
West Asia’s Share in Total Indian Trade
20.6 20.1
18
20.8 19.5 19.4 18.9 18.3
26.5 27
28.6 29.2 29.9
24.9
19.9 20.4
47.1 47.1 46.6
50 49.4
44.3
38.8 38.7
0
10
20
30
40
50
2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Share of West Asia in Total Indian Export
Share of West Asia in Total Indian Import
Total West Asia's Share in India's Total Trade
Source: Department of Commerce, GOI. 6
GCC’s Share in India’s Total Economic
Migration
95.6 96.6 92.8
84.5
72.4
83.5
74.5
89.2
82.8
96.2 97.1 98.6
96.4
0.0
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
60.0
70.0
80.0
90.0
100.0
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
Source: Various reports of the Office of Protector General of Emigrants, GOI, Annual reports of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, New Delhi.
7
Total Remittances Coming to India
12.8 14.2 15.7
21.0 18.8
22.1
28.3
37.2
50.0 49.2
53.5
62.5
68.8 70.0 70.4 68.9
65.5
0.0
10.0
20.0
30.0
40.0
50.0
60.0
70.0
80.0
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
Source: World Bank, 2017 8
India’s Concerns
• Continued instability and turmoil in the region;
• Reluctance of US to intervene and incapability of Russia to restore
peace & stabilize the region;
• Political tussle between Iran and Saudi Arabia & failure of regional
powers, both Arab & Non-Arabs to develop consensus;
• Growth of proxy & terror groups as political saviour;
• Division in Arab society on sectarian & ethnic lines;
• Impact of instability in West Asia on our economic, social & security,
affairs. It will affect our economic growth, trade & energy disruption
& problem of evacuation of migrant workers, etc.;
• Protection of waterways & two Choke Points – Bab-el-Mandeb &
Strait of Hormuz. It is not in our interest that these waterways &
choke points should be controlled by any single power. It’s a ‘global
common’;
• Growing Terror links between West Asia & South Asia;
• Humanitarian concerns: Destruction & Human disaster after the
WW II. Around 60 million People been affected by West Asian Crisis.
3/19/2017 9
India’s Policy & Options
There are four options to stabilize the region:
1. To develop consensus among the major global
powers such as US, Russia, China & EU;
2. To develop consensus among the regional powers,
both Arab and Non-Arabs such as Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, Iran, Turkey;
3. To work on developing alternative security
architecture by engaging big Asian economies,
whose stakes in the region are high;
4. India’s Bilateral Efforts.
3/19/2017 10
India’s Policy
• Strengthening bilateral relations;
• Improving security & defence cooperation;
• Developing joint mechanism on counter-terrorism;
• Evolving regional framework for counter-terrorism, extremism and de-
radicalisation;
• Strengthening cultural & people-to-people relations, so spread awareness
& common understanding on common challenges;
• Engaging West Asian countries to develop a common policy for both South
Asia & West Asia;
• Deepening interdependence on economic, energy, science & technology &
global & regional political development.
• India needs to further engage the West Asian public and this it should
setup an exclusive division of public diplomacy to target the region.
• Promotion of TOURISM between the region regions would also enable us
to understand each other better. This is also suited to the Vision Policies of
several West Asian countries, which focuses to promote tourism as non-oil
source of revenue under the diversification policies.3/19/2017 11
India’s Bilateral Efforts with West Asia
• Increased security & defence cooperation with West Asian countries;
• Signed Strategic Partnership Agreements (SPA) with five main countries –
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Jordan & Iran;
• Increased frequency of high-level political visits & transformed it into
signing of important agreements/MoUs;
• SPA has added more political & security content in bilateral relation;
• Deepening counter-terrorism cooperation & developing counter narrative
literature to violent ideology used for achieving political objectives;
• Signed a number of agreements to prevent money laundering & better
cooperation in intelligence sharing, experiences & exchange of personnel
& training;
• Maritime security, cyber security & ensuring free waterways & Choke
Points;
• Expanding & deepening economic, energy, science & technology
cooperation;
• Enhancing cultural & people-to-people ties & making millennia old
civilizational links relevant in the contemporary times3/19/2017 12

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India's new middle east policy

  • 1. India’s Concerns & Policy Options Amid Continued Turmoil in Middle East Zakir Hussain Senior Fellow Indian Council of World Affairs Sapru House, New Delhi Paper presented at International Conference on “Democratic Upsurge in West Asia and North Africa: Global Concerns and Implications for India’ , CWAS, JNU, 16-18 March 2017, New Delhi, India 3/19/2017 1
  • 2. Outline •Importance of West Asia •India’s Stakes •India’s Concerns •Policy & Options •Bilateral Efforts of India 3/19/2017 2
  • 3. Importance of the Region • Energy Hub – Crude Oil and Natural Gas; • Major say in OPEC, Arab League, OIC & Two Holy places of 1.8 billion Muslims • Important geostrategic location; • Connects two water bodies- Indian & Pacific Ocean; • Oil-Rich Countries Important Destination of foreign labour force, including Indians; • Two Choke Points, Bab-al-Mandeb & Strait of Hormuz through which bulk of oil, gas; • Oil-Rich GCC are enormous economic capacity & potential- huge investment capital, rich-consumer market, & effective link to the European Market 3/19/2017 3
  • 4. India’s Stakes • Crude Oil & Natural Gas (60-63% oil & 70% LNG- LPG) • Trade (US$170-180 billion) • Overseas Employment Opportunities (only GCC-7 to 8 million) • Remittances (45% of total US$65.5 billion) • Our food security is based on rock & chemical fertilizers & bulk are procured from the region • Potential region for attracting investment capital – Sovereign Wealth Fund, trillion of dollar. 3/19/2017 4
  • 5. Share of West Asia in India’s Total Oil Import 67.9 67.2 68.1 67.4 73.4 72.5 73.7 71.5 65.2 64.5 69.1 61.5 63.4 60.1 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 Source: MoPNG, GOI. 5
  • 6. West Asia’s Share in Total Indian Trade 20.6 20.1 18 20.8 19.5 19.4 18.9 18.3 26.5 27 28.6 29.2 29.9 24.9 19.9 20.4 47.1 47.1 46.6 50 49.4 44.3 38.8 38.7 0 10 20 30 40 50 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Share of West Asia in Total Indian Export Share of West Asia in Total Indian Import Total West Asia's Share in India's Total Trade Source: Department of Commerce, GOI. 6
  • 7. GCC’s Share in India’s Total Economic Migration 95.6 96.6 92.8 84.5 72.4 83.5 74.5 89.2 82.8 96.2 97.1 98.6 96.4 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0 90.0 100.0 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Source: Various reports of the Office of Protector General of Emigrants, GOI, Annual reports of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, New Delhi. 7
  • 8. Total Remittances Coming to India 12.8 14.2 15.7 21.0 18.8 22.1 28.3 37.2 50.0 49.2 53.5 62.5 68.8 70.0 70.4 68.9 65.5 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Source: World Bank, 2017 8
  • 9. India’s Concerns • Continued instability and turmoil in the region; • Reluctance of US to intervene and incapability of Russia to restore peace & stabilize the region; • Political tussle between Iran and Saudi Arabia & failure of regional powers, both Arab & Non-Arabs to develop consensus; • Growth of proxy & terror groups as political saviour; • Division in Arab society on sectarian & ethnic lines; • Impact of instability in West Asia on our economic, social & security, affairs. It will affect our economic growth, trade & energy disruption & problem of evacuation of migrant workers, etc.; • Protection of waterways & two Choke Points – Bab-el-Mandeb & Strait of Hormuz. It is not in our interest that these waterways & choke points should be controlled by any single power. It’s a ‘global common’; • Growing Terror links between West Asia & South Asia; • Humanitarian concerns: Destruction & Human disaster after the WW II. Around 60 million People been affected by West Asian Crisis. 3/19/2017 9
  • 10. India’s Policy & Options There are four options to stabilize the region: 1. To develop consensus among the major global powers such as US, Russia, China & EU; 2. To develop consensus among the regional powers, both Arab and Non-Arabs such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Turkey; 3. To work on developing alternative security architecture by engaging big Asian economies, whose stakes in the region are high; 4. India’s Bilateral Efforts. 3/19/2017 10
  • 11. India’s Policy • Strengthening bilateral relations; • Improving security & defence cooperation; • Developing joint mechanism on counter-terrorism; • Evolving regional framework for counter-terrorism, extremism and de- radicalisation; • Strengthening cultural & people-to-people relations, so spread awareness & common understanding on common challenges; • Engaging West Asian countries to develop a common policy for both South Asia & West Asia; • Deepening interdependence on economic, energy, science & technology & global & regional political development. • India needs to further engage the West Asian public and this it should setup an exclusive division of public diplomacy to target the region. • Promotion of TOURISM between the region regions would also enable us to understand each other better. This is also suited to the Vision Policies of several West Asian countries, which focuses to promote tourism as non-oil source of revenue under the diversification policies.3/19/2017 11
  • 12. India’s Bilateral Efforts with West Asia • Increased security & defence cooperation with West Asian countries; • Signed Strategic Partnership Agreements (SPA) with five main countries – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Jordan & Iran; • Increased frequency of high-level political visits & transformed it into signing of important agreements/MoUs; • SPA has added more political & security content in bilateral relation; • Deepening counter-terrorism cooperation & developing counter narrative literature to violent ideology used for achieving political objectives; • Signed a number of agreements to prevent money laundering & better cooperation in intelligence sharing, experiences & exchange of personnel & training; • Maritime security, cyber security & ensuring free waterways & Choke Points; • Expanding & deepening economic, energy, science & technology cooperation; • Enhancing cultural & people-to-people ties & making millennia old civilizational links relevant in the contemporary times3/19/2017 12