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In a major development, Pakistan has finalised a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Ministry of Commerce stated on Friday.

The ministry shared the development in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Federal Minister for Commerce, Dr Ejaz, and Secretary General GCC signed the joint statement of the Pakistan-GCC FTA (PAK-GCC FTA) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, state-run APP reported.

The two sides had been in talks for a long time and the final round was held from September 26-28, 2023 at the GCC Headquarters, Riyadh.

This is a significant development as the FTA is the first by GCC with any country since 2009 and marks a milestone in both sides’ economic cooperation.

“Pakistan has excellent relations with all the countries of the GCC and the FTA will ensure that our economic ties are commensurate with these relations,” Ejaz said while speaking on the occasion.

A joint statement was signed by Gohar Ejaz and the Secretary General of GCC, H.E. Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi.

“Both parties looked forward to the expeditious signing, ratification, and implementation of the agreement, which will mark a new chapter in the economic relations between the two countries,” the statement read.

This will now be followed by an internal administrative and approval process before signing and entry into force of the agreement.


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Arif Sep 29, 2023 05:23pm
Each and Every FTA is a disaster for this country. They substantially increase imports and have zero effect on exports. It seems hardly any study is done on consequences of an FTA before blindly signing it .
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Notsurprised Sep 29, 2023 07:18pm
This PR greedy land mafia tycoon wants to maximize photo ops and personal exposure during the few months of his bought ministership. Are we fools? UAE is the number 1 destination for underinvoicing both imports and exports of Pakistan. The GCC already has lowest custom duties but we have highest. So who benefits from FTA?
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Tulukan Mairandi Sep 29, 2023 07:42pm
All the indian goods gonna flood Pakistan via GCC
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Az_Iz Sep 30, 2023 12:58am
@Tulukan Mairandi, on this one, you maybe correct to some extent.
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Love Your Country Sep 30, 2023 05:38am
Each country within the GCC will take time to ratify the agreement so be patient please.
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Love Your Country Sep 30, 2023 05:39am
Is this within the remit of the interim government?
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PrasadDeccani Sep 30, 2023 11:18am
@Arif, If FTA covers services too, Pakistanis can go to GCC countries without any problem (to provide service, whatever it is).
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KU Sep 30, 2023 12:53pm
What are the details of this FTA? Commodities, services, etc.?
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Humair Sep 30, 2023 12:57pm
Please elaborate what will be the benefit to Pakistan as a result of this FTA?
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SULEMAN KHAN Sep 30, 2023 03:16pm
Surgical exports USA tex
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imran SZ Sep 30, 2023 05:21pm
@Arif, This is what happens when you give jobs to chachas, mamas, tayas, uncles, cousin, all from pinds or goth.
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imran SZ Sep 30, 2023 05:22pm
@Love Your Country , LOL - there is no government, no law, no order. Wakeup!!!
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imran SZ Sep 30, 2023 05:25pm
@Arif, if we start to scrutinise these then Pakistan will be a better place to live, but only in dreams...
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Austin Rahim Oct 01, 2023 04:49pm
Dear Khaleej Times Entire Team, Greetings in Almighty Lord the Most Precious Name Above All!! It is really a good Initiative for FTA Agreement Between Pakistan & GCC. It would be great for a Exchange of Business Development among Nations, where Privileges and Betterment can be do more. I personally started reading Khaleej Times and it's helpful for me to share such realistic news to my friends n family social network. My well wishes for all your Future Fortunes. Best Regards with Sincere Prayers, Austin Rahim
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TidBit Oct 01, 2023 08:08pm
Wait a minute, are we stupid to sign this FTA? If we ban DIRECT trade with India, but sign FTA with GCC, then we will be trading INDIRECTY with India. We cannot tell GCC, dont allow the import of Indian goods, as India is GCC's largest trading partner. We have not inserted a clause in the FTA that says, DO NOT ALLOW INDIAN PRODUCTS TO COME VIA GCC FTA. Let me get this straight. We are not OK for trucks crossing 30 km from Indian Punjab to Lahore (because it will hurt the Kashmir cause) But we are ok if Indian Punjab ships products to Lahore via GCC countries after crossing 3000 km (now the Kashmir cause is intact?) I am scratching my head. Do I have company?
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