KUWAIT: Ambassador of India to Kuwait Sibi George interacted with Kuwaiti media-persons on promotion of trade, technology and tourism, as part of the realization of the vision for ‘Aatm-Nirbhar Bharat’ or ‘Self-Reliant India’, as envisaged by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
The interaction included a detailed presentation on India’s focus on trade, technology and tourism highlighting the concerted policy push in each area as well as the recent reforms and trends indicating the scale of potential opportunities in India in these areas.
Ambassador Sibi George, in his remarks, referred to the excellent bilateral engagement in the year 2021 between India and Kuwait, marking the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Kuwait. Noting the strides India has been making in economic recovery after the pandemic induced scenario, he spoke of the emphasis the Government of India has placed on increasing trade, attracting tourism and technological development, along with a planned push for skill development and R&D. He stated that the Indian economy is set for a strong recovery with an estimated 9.5 percent growth in the current fiscal year, almost surpassing pre-covid levels.
In terms of trade, for the first time, the government of India has set a target of over $400 billion for merchandise exports for the current fiscal, over 50 percent of which has already been achieved in the first half of the year. India’s global merchandise exports have grown over 50 percent YOY in the period April to November 2021.
Despite the pandemic, India has been a top destination for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) with $82 billion received in FY 2020-21, while India is expected to attract investments worth $120-160 billion annually by 2035. In financial year 2020, the top sectors with FDI inflows were services which included R&D, testing and analysis, financial, banking insurance etc. followed by, IT and computer software/hardware, trading and telecommunication sectors.
The presentation highlighted that India is one of the top countries exporting software and IT services, with an extensive network of R&D in all areas of science and technology, especially fields such as Biotechnology, Medical Research, and Space exploration. India has taken great strides in the field of space research and exploration. India’s first interplanetary mission, Mangalyaan or Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), was the first mission to reach Mars on its first attempt. Mangalyaan has since completed 8 successful years in orbit. Furthermore, India plans to launch its first manned spaceflight mission, Gaganyaan, in 2023.
The presentation also focused on India’s tourism sector, highlighting the diversity of offerings for tourists interested in leisure, business or wellness, in highly affordable packages. India is the seventh largest and fast-growing tourism economy in the world. With a travel market of $75 billion in FY 2020, India’s tourism sector is expected to grow to $125 billion in FY 2027, ranking amongst the top five business travel destinations by 2030. The event was attended and well received by a large number of Arabic and English print and audio visual media persons representing all major publications and channels in Kuwait.