Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and and GCC Secretary-General Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf at a press conference in New Delhi, on November 25, 2022.
Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and and GCC Secretary-General Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf at a press conference in New Delhi, on November 25, 2022.

India-GCC decide to pursue resumption of Free Trade Agreement negotiations

New Delhi, November 25, 2022

India and the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) today agreed to expedite conclusion of the requisite legal and technical requirements for formal resumption of their Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.

This was announced at a press conference here by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and GCC Secretary-General Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf.

The FTA is envisaged to be a modern, comprehensive agreement with substantial coverage of goods and services, they said.

Both sides emphasized that the FTA would create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in India and all the GCC countries.

They agreed to significantly expand and diversify the trade basket in line with the enormous potential that exists on account of the complementary business and economic ecosystems of India and the GCC.

"With forward-looking and solution-oriented deliberations, bilateral engagements witnessed significant progress on all matters of mutual interest across the entire gamut of bilateral economic relations between India and the GCC nations," an official press release said.

The GCC comprises the six Arab Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.

The GCC is currently India’s largest trading partner bloc with bilateral trade in FY 2021-22 valued at over $ 154 billion, with exports valued at approximately $ 44 billion and imports of around $ 110 billion (non-oil exports of $ 33.8 billion and non-oil imports of $ 37.2 billion).

Bilateral trade in services between India and the GCC was valued at around $ 14 billion in FY 2021-22, with exports valued at $ 5.5 billion and imports at $ 8.3 billion.

GCC countries contribute almost 35% of India’s oil imports and 70% of gas imports. India’s overall crude oil imports from the GCC in 2021-22 were about $ 48 billion, while LNG and LPG imports in 2021-22 were about $ 21 billion.

Investments from the GCC in India are currently valued at over $ 18 billion.

NNN

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