New Delhi: India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have decided to pursue resumption of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. Both the sides have agreed to expedite conclusion of the requisite legal and technical requirements for formal resumption of the FTA negotiations.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of resumption of India-GCC FTA negotiations , Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said, the FTA will be a comprehensive economic partnership that will cover different aspects of trade. He expressed confidence that two sides will set a new benchmark. 

Mr. Goyal said, GCC is currently India’s largest trading partner bloc with bilateral

merchandise trade valued at over 154 billion US dollars in the financial year 2021-22. He said, bilateral trade in services between India and the GCC was worth 14 billion US dollars in the last financial year. He said, GCC countries contribute almost 35 per cent of the country's oil imports and 70 per cent of gas imports.

Secretary General of Gulf Cooperation Council Dr. Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf said, GCC and India are committed to take this relation to a higher level. He said the world economy was hit by Covid pandemic and currently the economic outlook looks uncertain. He added, this is a time to capitalize strong relations between GCC and India.

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