Dubai: The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will sign Free Trade Agreements with India, China and European Union this year, a senior minister has said.
UAE’s State Minister for Financial and Industrial Affairs, Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash, said this at the GCC 11th Industrialists’ Conference on ‘Future of Gulf Petrochemicals in Abu Dhabi´ on January 20.
At the India-GCC Industrial Forum in Mumbai last year, Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath had said that India was in the process of negotiating an FTA with the Gulf countries and talks in this regard were likely to be concluded soon.
In the last five years, India’s total trade with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has risen more than four-fold from $5.55 billion in 2000-01 to $23.42 billion in 2005-06.
“The period witnessed buoyancy in exports and imports. Signing of the Framework Agreement on Economic Cooperation between India and GCC countries in 2004 was another milestone in the Indo-GCC economic relations,” Nath had said.