Pakistan seeks trade deals with Saudi, UAE, Oman: Razak Dawood

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DUBAI: Pakistan will pursue individual trade deals with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood said on Sunday, as talks with the Gulf Cooperation Council remain stalled. The GCC, which includes those three countries plus Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, started free trade talks with Pakistan in 2004. It has not implemented a free trade deal since 2015. Dawood told Reuters on Sunday the South Asian nation hoped bilateral negotiations for preferential trade deals with the three Gulf Arab states would start in the next 6-12 months. “We feel it is far better to do individual (deals) at the moment rather than with the GCC as a bloc,” he said in Dubai. A preferential trade deal typically gives certain products preferential access such as by reducing or removing tariffs. Dawood said the negotiations would cover a limited number goods and would not be as comprehensive as a free trade agreement, though over time the deals, if secured, could be expanded. He did not say which goods Pakistan would seek to include.

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