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Day 47 – Q 3. What is the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)? What importance does it hold for India? Discuss.

3. What is the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)? What importance does it hold for India? Discuss.

खाड़ी सहयोग परिषद (GCC) क्या है? भारत के लिए इसका क्या महत्व है? चर्चा करें।


Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi ArabiaKuwait, the United Arab EmiratesQatarBahrain, and Oman. The GCC was established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May 1981. The purpose of the GCC is to achieve unity among its members based on their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities, which are rooted in Arab and Islamic cultures. Presidency of the council rotates annually.


Importance for India:

  1. Historical ties of Islam and trade dating back to centuries.

2.Being the leading oil & gas producing countries of the world, they play a key role in India’s energy security and by extension, our economic security too. 

  1. Saudi is the largest oil exporter to India. 
  2. Qatar is amongst the largest gas producers in India.
  3. Some of these countries are alleged as being the nerve centres of non-state actors with nefarious motives. e.g.: D-company, Al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Zakir Naik etc.
  4. These countries have large sovereign wealth funds which, if invested in India, can boost our economic growth, helping us maximize our demographic dividend. For eg. Abu Dhabi into NIIF master fund, smart cities and petrochemicals etc.
  5. These countries are large markets for Indian exports. Trade with GCC countries is more than EU and ASEAN. Our plans are to further diversify it to the science and technology, tourism, agricultural products and merchandise.
  6. These countries are home to the largest Indian diaspora nearly 8 million in the world. Good relations with these countries are thus necessary for the well-being of our diaspora. As diaspora also source of huge remittances nearly 40-dollar billion
  7. It’s also alleged that appeasing these countries is a ‘compulsion’ for Indian government to keep certain religious communities happy, for these religious communities look up to these countries are their religious leaders.

Challenges associated –

  1. countering terrorism and radicalism in region


India initiated a ‘Look West’ policy to deepen our relations with these countries but the progress has been slow. Engaging in comprehensive dialogs and where feasible, bilateral dialog (such as being done with UAE) would be the way forward.

Best answer: Suraj Sharma

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