Pakistan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have officially initiated a comprehensive free trade agreement, as announced by the GCC through its communication platform, X. 

The formal signing ceremony was conducted with the participation of GCC Secretary-General Jasem al-Budaiwi and Pakistan’s Minister of Trade, Gohar Ejaz. 

In his remarks, Secretary-General Al-Budaiwi underscored the historic significance of this economic accord, characterising it as a pivotal moment in bilateral cooperation. He emphasised that this agreement would play a vital role in fostering mutual growth and prosperity, aligning with the shared interests of both parties, as conveyed in the GCC’s official statement. 

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Additionally, Al-Budaiwi highlighted the GCC’s commitment to advancing the cause of free trade by actively pursuing similar agreements with other nations, as indicated in the statement. 

Both leaders expressed optimism about the agreement’s potential to significantly enhance trade relations between Pakistan and the Arab nations. 

It’s worth noting that Pakistan and the GCC initially laid the groundwork for discussions on a free trade agreement back in August 2004. However, progress had been limited to only a few rounds of talks. The negotiations were reignited in 2021, leading to the formalisation of this momentous trade pact.