India, Gulf Cooperation Council agree to pursue free trade settlement; resume talks, says Piyush Goyal



New Delhi: India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have agreed to pursue a free trade settlement (FTA) between the 2 areas and resume the negotiations, Trade and Trade Minister Piyush Goyal mentioned on Thursday.

GCC is a union of six international locations within the Gulf area — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. The council is the most important buying and selling bloc of India.

India’s exports to the GCC member international locations grew by means of 58.26 in step with cent to about $44 billion in 2021-22 towards $27.8 billion in 2020-21, in accordance to knowledge from the trade ministry.

Bilateral trade in items has higher to $154.73 billion in 2021-22 from $87.4 billion in 2020-21. Products and services trade between the 2 areas was once valued at round $14 billion in 2021-22, with exports aggregated at $5.5 billion and imports at $8.3 billion.

“We have agreed to pursue the free trade agreement between the GCC and India and resume the negotiations and conclude the same at the earliest,” Goyal informed journalists right here in a joint press convention with GCC Secretary Basic Nayef Falah M Al-Hajraf right here.

GCC international locations give a contribution virtually 35 in step with cent of India’s oil imports and 70 in step with cent of its fuel imports. India’s general crude oil imports from the GCC in 2021-22 have been about $48 billion, whilst LNG and LPG imports in 2021-22 stood at about $21 billion.

Either side held negotiations for the trade pact in 2006 and 2008 however talks stalled thereafter due to unknown causes.

When requested concerning the subsequent spherical of talks to resume the negotiations, Goyal mentioned groups of all sides would make a decision that. He mentioned that FTA covers spaces together with trade, and funding promotion.

“I am sure the engagement with the GCC will be in tune with the truly unique and special relations enjoyed by the countries of the GCC region and India,” Goyal mentioned including “India plays an important role in food security and contributes to healthcare architecture of the GCC, the GCC is a reliable partner in catering to India’s energy security”.

The GCC Secretary Basic mentioned: “This is a very broad FTA and it reflects mutual areas of interest to focus on”.

Al-Hajraf mentioned this is a platform for the 2 economies to transfer ahead on some sectors of mutual hobby corresponding to meals safety, power safety, and era switch.

“We are very keen to pursue the FTA negotiations between both sides…. and we instructed the negotiating teams to finalise all the needed documents for official resumptions for the FTA,” he added.

He additionally mentioned that Indian expats give a contribution to the GCC financial system.

Gulf countries are host to a sizeable Indian inhabitants. Out of about 32 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), just about part are estimated to be operating within the Gulf international locations.

GCC international locations account for just about 35 in step with cent of India’s oil imports and 70 in step with cent of fuel imports. India’s general crude oil imports from the GCC in 2021-22 have been about $48 billion, whilst LNG and LPG imports in 2021-22 have been about $21 billion.

India may be negotiations trade offers with the United Kingdom, Ecu Union, Canada and Israel. Previous this week, the Australian Parliament cleared the period in-between trade deal signed with India.

With inputs from businesses

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