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India and GCC resume free trade deal talks

Oman News Agency
Indian official says discussions are being held on boosting trade with the GCC

India and the GCC have resumed talks to finalise a free trade agreement, a senior Indian government official has confirmed.

Ausaf Sayeed, secretary at India’s external affairs ministry, told the sixth India-Arab Partnership Conference in New Delhi that the parties have exchanged preliminary documents and delegations have been meeting, ANI, an India-based news agency, reported.

Sayeed said he hoped the free trade agreement would “soon become a reality, bringing newer opportunities for businesses on both sides”.

“There are talks about (Indian) rupee trading, barter trading and many other things,” he added.

A framework agreement on economic cooperation between India and the GCC was signed in August 2004 to initiate discussions on the feasibility of a free trade agreement. Two rounds of negotiations were held in 2006 and 2008.

The third round did not take place as the GCC started reviewing its negotiations with all countries and economic groups, India’s ministry of commerce and industry said on its website.

India and the UAE concluded a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) in February 2022, which came into force in May that year.

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