Food imports from the GCC rose sharply in 2017 to $4.1 billion, the latest year for which figures are available.
GCC countries exported $1.5 billion in food, mainly from India, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The growth of imports from GCC countries slowed in 2016 and 2017, but was boosted by rising global demand for food.
The GCC is one of the world’s largest food importers.
GCC member states import about 80 percent of the food produced in the world.
The number of GCC countries importing food from India has increased to about 3 million people.
The rest of the countries in the region are mostly exporting from small and medium-sized economies, with about 2 million imports.
The data comes from GCC food and beverage trade journal.
A report from the International Trade Commission in May said the GCC was the biggest importer of food from China, followed by India and the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were the biggest exporters of food, the ITC report said.
It said GCC countries were the largest exporters and consumers of imported goods, and that the trend was accelerating.
“The GCC’s trade with China has been growing strongly for several years.
The rising price of Chinese food imports from China has caused major concern in GCC countries, especially the Gulf States, which have been experiencing a food price inflation in recent years.
GCC states have been in negotiations with China on a new agricultural agreement, which would be a major boost for GCC exporters,” the ICTC said in its report.
The ITC said it was “very concerned” about the price inflation that was expected in the GCC.
The country that is most affected by the price increases in GCC is Saudi Arabia, which is expected to see a rise in food prices of more than 40 percent in the next three years.
“These rising prices are causing many Gulf States to consider the move away from a food sovereignty policy and to embrace a global food market,” the report said, adding that the GCC had to take measures to prevent the price increase.
The report said the trade imbalance in the Gulf could increase to more than $5 trillion annually if current trends continue.
The world’s second largest economy in terms of total trade, the GCC has a trade surplus with the rest of Asia.