West indian countries

India could strike a trade deal with GCC countries this year

After concluding a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates, India is working to conclude a similar economic cooperation agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council, a union of 6 countries in the Gulf region – Saudi Arabia , Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates – – this very year. The region has a combined GDP of $1.6 trillion.

“We conducted negotiations in a rapid manner with the United Arab Emirates and we believe that a similar agreement on trade will be concluded with the GCC this year,” Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said. .

He said CEPA will not only improve the competitiveness of Indian products but also provide strategic advantages to India.

Read more: India-UAE FTA could benefit $26 billion worth of domestic goods subject to 5% tariff

“As the UAE functions as a trade hub, the agreement will help provide us with entry points to markets in Africa, the Middle East and Europe,” Goyal said. .

With this, labor-intensive industries, MSMEs and start-ups stand to benefit.

The GCC has become a major trading partner of India and its vast oil reserves hold great potential for India’s energy needs.

India’s oil demand is expected to double to 19 million barrels per day by 2030. Natural gas demand is expected to increase nearly two and a half times to over 143 million tonnes.

The United Arab Emirates is also a center of redistribution and a financial center. Much of the export to Africa goes through Dubai. According to FIEO, “many African buyers come to Dubai and place orders for Indian products. So, showcasing Indian products in UAE is a good strategy to market Indian products and services.”

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