India – West Asia Policy

‘Look East’ for trade and investment, implemented successfully. India now seeks to achieve excellence in relations with the west. Balancing the relations with Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Iran.

Key takeaways from the Look West Policy
1.Focus on Maritime Security.
2.Strong-hold in diplomacy ( Dialogues at all levels)
3.Non-aligned.

Data Points
1.Approx. USD 60 Bn bilateral trade with UAE.
2.Appx. USD 14 Bn in Remittances.
3.6-7% of Crude Oil Demand from UAE, 19% Oil 30% Natural gas from Saudi.
4.Saudi Aramco has importance in investments in Indian Oil Refineries and UAE’s investments in Infra sectors.

Challenges
1.China, India, and Russia are strong powers in the region but not yet have fully articulated the way forward in diplomacy for the region.
2.Cultural connect and political forum which is present in the east like Mekong river project, ASEAN has been an important pillar for development in the east. Need for a similar forum in the west.
3.ISIS, Conflicts between Sunni Arabs and Shia Irans with other regional factors delay and add on in the stability.
4.Aggressiveness in the region of Yemen and Syria also adds to regional instability.

India’s Role and Significance
1.US led mediation has been turned away for Palestine. India is likely to lead a two-state solution.
2.Large number of the Indian communities in the Gulf state.
3.Naval Cooperation gaining traction with increased activity in the Gulf of Aden.
4.India remains one of the leading markets for oil and gas for the middle east region.

India needs to strategize a clear and vibrant roadmap for the region. India is likely to be emerging out in this region as a leading economic and security partner.

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