labels: trade
India - GCC FTA talks in April: Nathnews
26 March 2007

New Delhi: India and the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) will meet next month to resume the talks on proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) since the last round of talks in March 2006.

The GCC bloc is is one of India''s largest trading partners, with exports to this region constituting about 3-4 per cent of the country''s global exports and imports from the region accounting for over 20 per cent of global imports. The six - nation GCC include UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar.

After meeting the UAE prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Makhtoum commerce minister Kamal Nath said that talks would be held sometime next month.

India is keen to seek greater safeguards for its chemicals and petrochemical industry in the proposed FTA, to protect its domestic industry, which would have to face stiff competition against due to the extremely low cost of crude in the GCC bloc.

Earlier, addressing a business meeting organised by industry chambers CII, FICCI and Assocham, Nath said the changing contours of the global economy offered greater opportunities to India and UAE for partnerships.

"India''s engagement with the global economy will touch USD 450 billion this year. The country is not only an exporter but also a big importer," he said.

Makhtoum said there were lot of opportunities for UAE and India to cooperate. "If we work together we can be number one". He also proposed JVs between Indian and UAE companies to take on global competition.

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India - GCC FTA talks in April: Nath