The European Union has delayed signing a free trade agreement with the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council countries because of opposition by a powerful lobby within the EU, a Saudi official was quoted as saying yesterday.
Kuwait’s foreign minister says Arab Gulf states are "disappointed" with the slow pace of their negotiations with the European Union on a free trade pact.
FTAs mark a major shift in the policy of GCC countries’ foreign trade. They have just signed one with EFTA, concluded talks with Singapore earlier this year and made strides in signing similar deals with China, India, Pakistan, Japan, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand. Further FTA talks are expected to begin soon with Iran and South Korea, while the EU hesitates.
Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have been finalized, said Secretary General of the GCC Abdulrahaman Al-Atiyya on Saturday, after five rounds of talks.
Discussions on a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are expected to make a substantial progress with in a year, according to Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath.
India today said talks on the free trade agreement between India and Gulf Cooperation Council are likely to move forward this year.
Human rights issues will be high on the agenda in negotiations between the European Union and the GCC on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a senior official declared in Bahrain last night.
Charles Roxborough, who leads management consultancy McKinsey & Company’s global corporate and investment banking practice, estimates that by 2020 sovereign wealth funds, of which some of the richest are located in the Middle East and north Africa (MENA) region, will have invested a staggering $7000bn in capital markets. “They’re reshaping strategies at banks and intermediaries,” he says. He believes that hedge funds, Asian central banks and sovereign wealth funds have tripled their market position since 2000 and now make about 5% of global investments.
The Federation of the GCC Chambers is inviting the European Union and the GCC to speed up signing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two blocs.
Bahrain human rights activists will raise issues related to "unconstitutional" constituency boundaries at a key meeting with the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. They are joining another group of activists from GCC states, who will meet officials from the European Union Commission and European Parliament in Brussels. The GCC group will highlight their reservations on their governments’ approach to various human rights issues ahead of the signing of a Gulf-EU Free trade agreement.
Singapore has completed a free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a senior official said Tuesday.
The Singapore-UAE bilateral FTA talks have been abandoned for a broader GCC-Singapore FTA. The negotiations were progressing for some time but now they have shifted to the GCC level and we are about to sign an agreement.
US officials are engaged in "informal" talks with several GCC countries on possibly concluding a Middle East Free Trade Agreement (Mefta) by 2014, it was revealed yesterday.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Wednesday his country planned to sign a free-trade agreement with Arab Gulf countries after two years of negotiations with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. «We are keen on buying Qatar’s gas,» Gul told reporters.
The Singapore government said Thursday it has substantively concluded negotiations with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council for a free trade agreement. The final round of talks, held from 28-31 January 2008, was the last of four that started in January 2007.
It seems that more time is needed before the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and 27-member European Union sign a long-awaited free trade agreement. Qatar’s deputy premier and minister of energy and industry Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah recently raised the alarm bells, speaking of "endless" EU conditions.
GCC countries need to have a strong coordinated stance in the free trade talks with the European Union, top Arab officials demanded on Sunday. "The Europeans get the lion’s share out of any deal they break in the GCC, while we incur the losses and burdens," said Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah, the Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry.
Yemen will soon become a regular member of the GCC, following the GCC leaders’ agreement to a request by Saudi King Abdallah. In addition, a GCC-EU free trade agreement is expected to be signed during 2008.
The six oil-rich Gulf monarchies ushered in the New Year on Tuesday by setting up a common market with a combined economy of 715 billion dollars.
The Arab world holds an important position in Chinese enterprises’ global strategies. It is predicted that China and the Gulf Cooperation Council will sign a free trade agreement soon.