Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said India and GCC had agreed to pursue the Free Trade Agreement, saying that they wanted to conclude it at the earliest…reports Asian Lite News
India and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) registered a 77.06% growth bilateral trade in FY 2021-22 compared to the FY 2020-21.
In a written reply to a question in Parliament on Wednesday, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel stated that bilateral trade between India and the GCC increased from US$ 87.35 billion in fiscal year 2020-21 to US$ 154.66 billion in fiscal year 2021-22.
The reply also said that during the current FY 2022-23, for the period April-October 2022, bilateral trade between India and the GCC stood at US$ 111.71 billion, up from US$ 79.49 billion during the same period in FY 2021-22.
This is an increase of 40.53% on a year-on-year basis. During the period FY 2017-18 to FY 2021-22, bilateral trade between India and the GCC has grown by 10.57% on a compounded annual growth rate basis.
Since 2015, there has been a noticeable improvement in India’s ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in the areas of commerce, investments, counterterrorism, and security cooperation.
India’s foreign policy calculations have given the GCC nations more weight as a result of regional and global developments such as the advent of the Islamic State (ISIS), China’s expanding regional influence, and the escalating nuclear program in Iran.
Meanwhile, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said India and GCC had agreed to pursue the Free Trade Agreement, saying that they wanted to conclude it at the earliest.
“GCC is already India’s largest trading partner. GCC countries contribute almost 35 per cent of India’s oil imports and 70 per cent of our gas imports.”
Bilateral trade in services between India and GCC stood at around USD 14 billion. India and the GCC have complimentary business and economic ecosystems. While India played an important role in food security and contribute to the healthcare of GCC, the GCC is a reliable partner in India’s energy security.
Goyal said the FTA between India and GCC countries will be a comprehensive economic partnership. “What exactly can be expected needs to be discussed bilaterally. For example, UAE is looking to invest around USD 100 billion in India, Crown prince of Saudi Arabia was here in India. He indicated that he is also looking for an investment at a very large level in India. I am quite confident that the 2 sides will set new benchmarks together,” he added. (India News Network/ANI)