Published on: November 26, 2022

Free Trade Agreement

Free Trade Agreement

Why in news?

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


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

Important trading of India from GCC

  • India has already implemented a free trade pact with the UAE
  • Among its trading partner of India in Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia is at the 4th
  • Kuwait was the 27th largest trading partner of India in the last fiscal.
  • India imports 8.5 million tonnes a year of LNG from Qatar and exports products ranging from cereals to meat, fish, chemicals, and plastics.

About Gulf Cooperation Council

  • Nature: It is a regional, intergovernmental, political, and economic union
  • Type: Trade bloc
  • Countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Headquarters : Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • All current member states are monarchies
  • Three constitutional monarchies: Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain
  • Absolute monarchies: Saudi Arabia and Oman
  • Federal monarchy : the United Arab Emirates
  • Qatar is hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.