The government on Wednesday informed the parliament that the bilateral trade between India and the Gulf Cooperation Council surged 40.53% to $111.71 billion between the April and October period this year, as against $79.49 billion in the same period last year. GCC is a union of six countries in the Gulf region i.e. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

“Bilateral Trade between India and the GCC grew from US$ 87.35 billion in FY 2020-21 to US$ 154.66 billion in FY 2021-22, registering an increase of 77.06% on a year-on-year basis. During the current FY 2022-23, for the period April-October 2022, bilateral trade between India and the GCC stood at US$ 111.71 billion, up from US$ 79.49 billion during the same period in FY 2021-22. This is an increase of 40.53% on a year-on-year basis,” Anupriya Patel, minister of state said in a written reply in the parliament.

During the period FY 2017-18 to FY 2021-22, bilateral trade between India and the GCC has grown by 10.57% on a compounded annual growth rate basis. 

The development comes a month after India entered into a free trade agreement with GCC last month, with an aim to promote two-way commerce and investments between the regions. “Both sides emphasized that the FTA will create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in India and all the GCC countries. Both sides agreed to significantly expand and diversify the trade basket in line with the enormous potential that exists on account of the complementary business and economic ecosystems of India and the GCC,” the ministry of commerce had said earlier.

The government said that at present, GCC is India’s largest trading partner bloc. In 2021-22, the country’s bilateral trade with GCC stood at $154 billion. During the period, the country’s exports with GCC increased by 36.8% to $44 billion from $27.8 billion in 2020-21. In 2021-22, the country’s imports with GCC stood at $110 billion. Meanwhile, the bilateral trade between India and the GCC stood at $14 billion in FY21-22, with exports valued at $5.5 billion and imports valued at $8.3 billion.

According to the government, 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 $18 billion,” the government said.

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