Home / News / India /  India to launch free trade pact negotiation with Gulf Cooperation Council today

In a bid to promote commerce and investment between the two regions, India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will announce the launch of negotiations for a free trade agreement on Thursday.

GCC is a union of six countries in the Gulf region -- Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain.

In the fiscal year 2021-22, India's exports to the GCC member countries grew by 58.26% to about $44 billion as against $27.8 billion in 2020-21.

According to commerce ministry data, the share of these six countries in India's total exports has risen to 10.4% in 2021-22, from 9.51% in 2020-21.

Similarly, imports rose by 85.8% to $110.73 billion, compared to $59.6 billion in 2020-21, the data showed.

The share of GCC members in India's total imports rose to 18% in 2021-22, from 15.5% in 2020-21.

Bilateral trade has increased to $154.73 billion in 2021-22, from $87.4 billion in 2020-21.

"GCC officials will be here for the announcement," the official said.

India has already implemented a free trade pact with the UAE in May this year.

India's bilateral trade with the nation increased to $72.9 billion in 2021-22 as compared to $43.3 billion in 2020-21.

India imports predominately crude oil and natural gas from the Gulf nations like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and exports pearls, precious and semi-precious stones; metals; imitation jewellery; electrical machinery; iron and steel; and chemicals to these countries.

Besides trade, Gulf nations are host to a sizeable Indian population. Out of about 32 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), nearly half are estimated to be working in Gulf countries.

The NRIs send a significant amount of money back home.

According to a November 2021 report from the World Bank, India got $87 billion in foreign remittances in 2021. Of this, a sizeable portion came from the GCC nations.

Among its trading partner of India in Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia is at the 4th spot. Total bilateral trade has increased to about $ 43 billion in 2021-22, from $ 22 billion a year ago.

India imports 8.5 million tonnes a year of LNG from Qatar and exports products ranging from cereals to meat, fish, chemicals, and plastics. Two-way commerce between India and Qatar rose to $ 15 billion in 2021-22 from $ 9.21 billion in 2020-21.

Kuwait was the 27th largest trading partner of India in the last fiscal. Bilateral trade has jumped to $ 12.3 billion in 2021-22, as compared to $ 6.3 billion in 2020-21.

Oman was the 31st largest trading partner of India in 2021-22. Bilateral trade with the nation has increased to about $ 10 billion in 2021-22, as compared to $ 5.5 billion in 2020-21.

(With PTI inputs)

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less

Recommended For You

Trending Stocks

×
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout