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Organisation of Islamic Cooperation


India recently rejected a statement issued by the OIC on a judgement of the Supreme Court upholding the abrogation of Article 370 that guaranteed special status to Jammu and Kashmir.


GS II- International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
  2. Why is the region important for India?
  3. How much trade does India do with countries in this region?

About the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

  • The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states, with a collective population of over 1.8 billion as of 2015 with 53 countries being Muslim-majority countries.
  • The organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”.
  • The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
  • Some members, especially in West Africa and South America, are – though with large Muslim populations – not necessarily Muslim majority countries.
  • A few countries with significant Muslim populations, such as Russia and Thailand, sit as Observer States.

Why is the region important for India?

  • India has enjoyed centuries of good relations with countries like Iran, while smaller gas-rich nation Qatar is one of India’s closest allies in the region.
  • India shares good relations with most of the countries in the Gulf.
  • The two most important reasons for the relationship are oil and gas, and trade.
  • Two additional reasons are the huge number of Indians who work in the Gulf countries, and the remittance they send back home.

How much trade does India do with countries in this region?

  • The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait has emerged as a major trading partner of India and has vast potential as India’s investment partner for the future.
  • The GCC’s substantial oil and gas reserves are of utmost importance for India’s energy needs.


  • The UAE was India’s third largest trading partner in 2021-2022, and second largest for both exports ($28 billion) and imports ($45 billion) when these are counted individually.
  • In terms of total trade volume, the UAE ($72.9 billion) was behind the United States ($1.19 trillion) and China ($1.15 trillion).
  • The UAE accounted for 6.6% of India’s total exports and 7.3% of imports in the last financial year, up 68.4% since the previous year when international trade was impacted by the pandemic.

-Source: The Times of India


February 2024