GCC includes Saudi ArabiaWATER, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. In May, India concluded an FTA with the United Arab Emirates which is likely to form the basis of the pact with the GCC, officials said.
“The GCC is keen on ensuring food safety as India’s concerns are on regulatory measures, especially for certain food items,” said one of the officials, who did not wish to be identified.
The two sides were previously involved in talks on an FTA in 2006, which are now resuming. “The GCC had some internal issues due to which the talks were stalled,” another official said. India may raise issues related to sanitary and phytosanitary measures relating to food safety, animal and plant health as the group resorts to EU standards for maximum residue levels in certain products, people said. aware of the issue.
“We want them to consider a risk-based assessment system,” the first official said.
With Qatar and Saudi Arabia becoming logistics hubs, these issues should also be on the table.
India’s exports to the GCC increased by 58.26% year-on-year to around $44 billion in 2021-22 from $27.8 billion.
India imports crude oil and natural gas from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and exports pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, metals, imitation jewellery, electrical machinery, iron and silver. steel and chemicals to the block. GCC countries are a major source of foreign direct investment in India.