Recently, India-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) decide to pursue resumption of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Negotiations.

 

About the GCC

  • It is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. The GCC was established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May 1981.
  • Objective — The purpose of the GCC is to achieve unity among its members based on their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities, which are rooted in Arab and Islamic cultures. The Presidency of the council rotates annually.
  • Organisational structure —
    • The Supreme Council is the highest authority of the organisation. It is composed of the heads of the Member-States. Its presidency rotates periodically among the Member States in alphabetical order.
    • The Ministerial Council — It is composed of the Foreign Ministers of all the Member States or other ministers deputising for them. It meets every three months to implement the decisions of the Supreme Council and to propose new policy.
    • The Secretariat General — It is the administrative arm of the alliance, which monitors policy implementation and arranges meetings.

 

India’s trade relations with GCC

  • GCC is currently India’s largest trading partner bloc with bilateral trade in FY 2021-22 valued at over USD 154 billion.
  • GCC countries contribute almost 35% of India’s oil imports and 70% of gas imports.
    • India’s overall crude oil imports from the GCC in 2021-22 were about $48 billion, while LNG and LPG imports in 2021-22 were about $21 billion. Investments from the GCC in India are currently valued at over USD 18 billion.