Gulf Cooperation Council Aff Notes

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1AC Long Relations [Arjun TL]

Lack of minimum wage standards in the Gulf means Labor-Sending Countries are cutting off relations with the GCC now

Youha 14 [(Ali Al Youha, MSc in global governance and diplomacy from Oxford University and a BA in economics from Boston College) “Gulf labor policies need context” Al-Monitor Feb 17] AT

While the GCC states are not exempt from the need to manage labor conditions, Western institutions should examine the GCC's internal labor dilemmas. They need to rigorously and holistically assess ongoing GCC state policy efforts to control labor practices within their markets. Therefore, multilateral cooperation and genuine dialogue should be prioritized, rather than politically framing the GCC region as the face of labor exploitation. Issues over protections, a standard minimum wage and labor-import bans have often been the inevitable outcomes of ongoing struggles between GCC states and Asian LSCs. GCC countries ban labor importation from major Asian suppliers when these LSCs violate strict labor and immigration laws Other LSCs, like the Philippine and Indonesian governments, also imposed labor-export bans on Saudi Arabia for failing to address violations of domestic workers’ rights and minimum wage requirements. This particular tension is expected to continue, given the increasing labor and minimum wage standards demanded by Asian LSCs, and has shaped diplomatic relations and produced criticism from rights groups.

Rising wages in India means Indian migrant workers are beginning to return to India – Gulf wages must keep pace

Lay 11 [(Claire ferris, deputy editor of CEO Middle East) “UAE sees Indian workforce shrink as home salaries rise” 22 November 2011] AT

The Indian Consulate in the UAE saw a fall in new visas for Indian nationals last year for the first time, as rising salaries in the Asian state kept workers at home. The Gulf state is likely to see a steady decline in blue-collar migrants as India’s economic growth offers better opportunities to workers, the Consul General told Arabian Business. “Last year, for the first time ever, the Indian Consulate served less passports than in 2009 so that would be an indication that the number of Indians declined coming to the UAE,” Sanjay Verma said on the sidelines of the 5th Arabian Business Forum. “Passport services saw a two percent drop. “The numbers are declining because of the demand for labour in India. The civil construction sector has a shortage of civil engineers and skilled workers, plumbing and carpentry.” The Asian state has rolled out a National Rural Employment Guarantee Act which offers 100 days of work a year to rural households, giving employment to workers in villages who traditionally have looked abroad for jobs. “The advantage of that is it is offered it to you in your home town or village so that has taken away some workers who otherwise would have come abroad,” Verma said. The Gulf plays host to millions of migrants, primarily from Asia, who account for the majority of blue-collar workers in the construction, domestic work, and service industries. An estimated three million migrate each year, sending back an estimated $175bn in remittances annually, according to Human Rights Watch data. The UAE alone is home to an estimated 1.75 million Indian expatriates, the largest group of foreign workers in the Gulf country. But experts have warned the country may struggle to attract and retain migrants if it fails to keep pace with rising salaries in India. Minimum wages for unskilled foreign workers in the UAE are as low as AED600 a month, with skilled workers receiving AED1,200 a month, according to the Indian Embassy, Abu Dhabi. By comparison, wages in India, the world’s fastest-growing economy after China, surged by 11.1 percent last year, said recruitment firm GulfTalent in February. The Indian Ambassador to the UAE said earlier this year the government planned to enforce a minimum wage for Indian nationals hoping to work in the UAE. If approved, the ruling will mean workers only receive immigration clearance from India if their employment contract meets with a set minimum salary. Verma said the professional sectors were likely to feel the pinch first as India strives to hold on to homegrown talent and keep pace with its fast-growing economy. “It will be more expensive getting Indian workers. It’s already happening in the professional sector, it’s not as easy as it used to be to attract Indian doctors or accountants to come here.” In 2011, the number of new visas issued by the consulate will be flat, he added. “I think it’s going to be closer to 2010, probably the same as 2010 but not a drastic increase.”

Expatriate laborers are the key internal link to relations and India’s role in the GCC as a peacekeeper

GRC 9 [(Gulf Research Center (GRC) is an independent research institute located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates) “India’s Growing Role in the Gulf: Implications for the Region and the United States” Gulf Research Center, 2009] AT

The major countries of Asia are looming as important regional players in the Middle East. A primary reason for the growing Asian footprint is economics, but it is more than simply the need for petroleum and natural gas that draws in the Asian states. They are attracted by opportunities for consumer sales and, in the case of South Asia, the export of millions of laborers to build the emerging city-states of the Arabian Peninsula. Thus, the paradox is that despite the threat of new conflicts, billions of dollars have been invested in the region and vast wealth accumulated and spent only a few hundred miles from ongoing military conflict. The financial crisis, which began in earnest in September 2008, has raised the prospects for a prolonged global recession, which will have a negative impact in most economic activities, including the value of energy exports, investments, tourism and consumer sales. Nevertheless, many observers believe that, in the long run, the global economy will recover and the economic trend lines that were in effect before September 2008, which showed growing economic activity between Asia and the Middle East, will be resumed. A number of traumatic events could upset this assumption including a new major Middle East war, severe social and political chaos in the region, Asia or even Europe and the US, or a total re-evaluation of the models of economic growth that are predicated on transparency, open markets and relatively free trade. The depth of Asia’s involvement in the Middle East can be measured in a number of ways, including the projected increase in the amounts of energy flowing east to Asian markets over the coming decades, the value of Asian exports to the Middle East, financial investment by Asian and Middle East countries in each others’ development, including construction and infrastructure, the number of tourists in both directions and the number of Middle Easterners enrolling for higher education in key Asian countries. Perhaps the most visible element of the growing Asian-Middle East partnership concerns expatriate workers in the GCC countries. Over 4 million Indians are to be found at every level of occupation on the Arabian Peninsula. In addition to Indian workers, millions of others come from South Asian countries. Without Asian labor, the oil rich economies of the Gulf would be in deep trouble, and without the all- powerful military presence of the US in the Gulf, they would be easy prey to regional predators, of whom Saddam Hussein was the classic example. It is the emergence of China and India as regional superpowers with an increasingly global outreach that has had the greatest impact on the region. In different ways, India and China will pose challenges and opportunities for the current regional hegemon, the United States. Questions about energy access, the security of the Arab Gulf, military cooperation, arms sales, oil and gas pipelines and energy security all need to be considered. These issues must be analyzed against the historical background of past Indian and Chinese influence in the region. India’s direct involvement in the Middle East, especially in the Gulf, is more extensive than China’s, due to proximity. But for the future, as China expands its geo-economic reach westward into Central Asia and Pakistan with new infrastructure projects, as well as increasing trade relations, it too will become a more important player. India and China have achieved a remarkable diplomatic presence in the Middle East, and unlike the United States or the former colonial powers (Britain, France, and Italy), they have made very few enemies and have managed to build good working relationships with all countries including close ties with Israel. Both countries are engaged in Mid-East peacekeeping operations. China’s participation in Lebanon within the framework of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) began officially on April 9, 2006. India has a much longer record of post World War II Mid-East peacekeeping, beginning with its participation in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) established in 1956 to monitor the Sinai desert. India has peacekeeping forces in UNIFIL, numbering 672 troops and staff officers and provided two of the last four commanding officers, but has not added any forces recently. Although India has historically had a more visible presence in the Gulf than China, it is only recently that is has begun to demonstrate power and influence. India has so far not had a major arms supply relationship with the Middle East countries, except Israel, but has been cooperating on a military-to-military basis with all of the small countries in the Gulf in recent years.
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