India is in active negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for a comprehensive trade agreement, the minister said.
The GCC is a union of six countries in the Gulf region, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“We may consider starting a preferential trade agreement with Oman to begin with as we are looking for a comprehensive agreement between the GCC region and India, (which is) under active negotiation,” Gayal said.
In a PTA, business partners reduce import duties on certain products to increase trade.
He added that there is a huge potential for increasing bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.
Bilateral trade has increased from US 5. 5.4 billion in 2020-21 to US 9. 9.94 billion in 2021-2022.
Oman has agreed to fast-track approvals for Indian pharma products that are already registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), the UK’s drug regulator MHRA, and the European Medicines Agency.
Speaking at the India-Oman Business Council meeting, Oman’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion Kayes bin Mohammed Al Youssef invited Indian businessmen to explore opportunities.
He is leading a 40-member delegation to India.
Vikramjit Singh Sahni, Chair – FICCI India-Arab Council and Chairman, Sun International, says there is huge potential for further strengthening of economic ties between the two countries.