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Pakistan, Saudi Arabia reach consensus on groundbreaking GCC free-trade agreement: minister

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia reach consensus on groundbreaking GCC free-trade agreement: minister

Pakistan

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia reach consensus on groundbreaking GCC free-trade agreement: minister

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ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have reached a consensus on the investment modalities, paving the path for the ratification of a much-awaited free-trade agreement (FTA) with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a development that has been pending for the past 19 years, caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi announced on Sunday.

"If approved, this will mark the first trade and investment agreement that the GCC has entered into with any country in the past 15 years," Solangi wrote in a post on X, erstwhile Twitter.

A press release issued here detailed that Pakistan’s caretaker Commerce and Industries Minister Dr Gohar Ejaz engaged in discussions with the GCC’s chief negotiator to finalise the investment-related part of the FTA.

The minister was accompanied by the secretaries of the Commerce Ministry, Board of Investment (BOI), and officials from the Attorney General of Pakistan’s office.

The technical teams from both sides held extensive discussions on the remaining details of the investment chapter, which included investment protection and facilitation. They also discussed the potential impact of the FTA on bilateral trade and investment flows.

“This is a significant step forward in our efforts to strengthen economic ties between Pakistan and the GCC,” Gohar Ejaz said.

“The investment chapter is an integral part of the agreement, and we are confident that we can reach an agreement soon.”

The GCC FTA is expected to boost trade and investment between Pakistan and the GCC. The agreement is also anticipated to create new jobs and business opportunities in both regions.

The two sides also discussed the possibility of holding a joint business forum shortly and promoting trade and investment between Pakistan and the GCC.




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