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India may conclude trade deal with GCC countries this year

With this, labour intensive industries, MSMEs and start ups are expected to benefit
nnapurna Singh
Last Updated : 20 February 2022, 13:11 IST
Last Updated : 20 February 2022, 13:11 IST
Last Updated : 20 February 2022, 13:11 IST
Last Updated : 20 February 2022, 13:11 IST

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After having concluded a free trade deal with UAE, 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 UAE -- this year itself. The region has a combined GDP of $1.6 trillion.

"We have conducted negotiations in a rapid manner with UAE and we believe that a similar agreement on trade would be concluded with GCC in this year itself, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said.

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

"Since UAE functions as a trading hub the agreement will help provide us market entry points to Africa, Middle East and Europe," Goyal said.

With this, labour intensive industries, MSMEs and start ups are expected to benefit.

The GCC has emerged as a major trading partner of India and its vast oil reserves present a great potential for India's energy needs.

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

UAE is also a re-distribution centre and a financial hub. Much of the exports to Africa is routed through Dubai. According to FIEO "a lot of a lot of African buyers come to Dubai and place orders for Indian goods. Thus, showcasing Indian goods in UAE is a good strategy for marketing Indian products and services".

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Published 20 February 2022, 13:11 IST

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