The latest push to eliminate obstacles could help the Gulf Cooperation Council Customs Union ease transportation of goods and services across the region from next year.
The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have decided to explore the possibility of reaching a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and a free trade agreement.
Chile took another step toward developing a free trade agreement with Arab nations of the Persian Gulf, as the Chilean president and Kuwait’s prime minister signed several diplomatic and economic agreements Tuesday.
Export duty is one pending issue that needs to be resolved before an EU-GCC free trade agreement is signed, disclosed Tomas Dupla del Moral, Middle East and south Mediterranean External Commissioner with the European Commission in an email exchange with the Kuwait Times this week.
The European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) last week celebrated 22 years of their relationship by launching a three-year Joint Action Programme (JAP) to move forward to stronger cooperation with confidence and optimism.
At the end of 2009, all GCC countries, with the exception of UAE and Oman which disengaged from the plan, were within the fiscal convergence criteria needed for the regional monetary union, the Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF) said.
The Saudi Jordanian Businessmen Council supported Jordan’s request for a free trade agreement with Gulf states, according to the council’s Chairman Mohammad Al Audah.
Despite 98% of the issues of the long-awaited Free Trade Agreement between the GCC and EU having been successfully negotiated, the GCC’s decision to impose customs duties on EU exports remain the only sticking point, an EU source has said.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and South Korea have taken big strides toward concluding free trade negotiations, although there are some remaining issues to be resolved, Yonhap News Agency reported the council’s visiting secretary general as saying Monday.
Malaysia hopes to draw up a frawework for free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries by October, said International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.
China has made securing a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the GCC a high priority as demand for energy and industrial imports in the fast-emerging global superpower rises.
“Negotiations were suspended because EU countries added a clause depriving GCC countries the right to impose duties on EU exports in the future,” the Director General of the External Economic Relations Department at the Gulf Cooperation Council said.
Canada, which lost millions of dollars in beef trade opportunities with Saudi Arabia following the outbreak of mad-cow disease, is now seeking full access to this lucrative Saudi market. There is also talk of possibly holding negotiations for a free trade agreement and a general investment protection accord with the Gulf states.
Dato’ Mohd Razif Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said that Malaysia has ample investment opportunities in various fields and can become a gateway for Emirati investors to access Asian Markets, expressing his resolve to open joint ventures between Malaysia and United Arab Emirates to enhance economic and trade ties between them.
Malaysia, which is currently in the midst of negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), will look at several sectors including Islamic banking to be included in the FTA.
The UAE will push for a long-awaited free trade agreement between the GCC and the European Union during the Emirates presidency of the Gulf states’ bloc next year, said the Foreign Minister.
Talks of signing of FTA between Pakistan and GCC have been making the rounds for several years but both sides have only now reached at some concrete work to move ahead.
GCC states may once again refuse to resume free trade agreement talks with the European Union due to “intransigence” on the European side, a senior official said.
Closer trade ties with the Middle East will culminate this April with the signing of a free trade agreement. AMANDA MORRALL finds out why the exporter’s road to Mecca is pointing in that direction.
In a significant setback to India’s ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Free Trade Agreement discussions between the two sides have been postponed indefinitely.