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Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) mulls FTA with India

The Hindu


GCC mulls FTA with India

Dubai, March 29. (UNI): The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are exploring the possibility of signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with India, Commerce Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Ali Saleh Al Saleh, has said.

A special committee with representatives from the GCC countries is currently studying the framework for the proposed FTA, he said after opening an Indian product catalogue exhibition in Manama.

Al Saleh, who attended the India-GCC Trade Conference in Mumbai earlier this year, said the move would help further strengthen the economic and commercial ties between the Gulf region and India.

He said he would soon lead a high-level delegation of businessmen from the Bahrain private sector to India.

"Indo-Bahrain relations took a new turn following the historic visit of Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa to India earlier this year," the Gulf Daily News reported him as saying.

Al Saleh said Bahrain is keen to benefit from India’s industrial expertise, especially in the IT sector.

The exhibition covers sectors such as information technology, drugs and pharmaceuticals, light and heavy engineering goods, automobiles, metal manufacturers, handicrafts, garments, leather goods, tourism, service sector and healthcare.

The economic and political grouping of the GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.