The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Pakistan on Thursday signed a free trade agreement in Cairo, a major step towards boosting trade and investment between the two regions.
The agreement was signed by GCC Secretary-General Jasem al-Budaiwi and Pakistani Trade Minister Gohar Ejaz. It is the first free trade agreement that the GCC has signed with a South Asian country.
The agreement is expected to eliminate or reduce tariffs on a wide range of goods and services traded between the GCC and Pakistan. It will also make it easier for businesses to invest in each other’s markets.
The GCC is a six-member bloc comprising Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. It is one of the world’s richest regions, with a combined GDP of over $1.5 trillion.
Pakistan is a developing country with a population of over 220 million people. It is a major exporter of textiles, rice, and fruits.
The GCC is Pakistan’s largest trading partner, accounting for over 20% of its total trade. Pakistan is also a major supplier of manpower to the GCC countries.
The new free trade agreement is expected to boost bilateral trade and investment between the GCC and Pakistan. It will also create new jobs and opportunities for businesses in both regions.