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The Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, with Yemen hoping to join by 2016) is dealing head-on with bilateral free trade agreements at various levels. On the one hand, it has gone through a lot of tension as its member countries have been drawn into individual bilateral treaties with foreign powers like the United States, including with a major row between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain when Bahrain signed with Washington. On the other hand, it has been working as a group to establish FTAs with others, including Australia, China, Mercosur, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Turkey, New Zealand, India, Iran, ASEAN and the European Union. It signed an FTA with Syria in 2005, and more recently with Singapore (2008) and EFTA (2009).

last update: May 2012
photo: US Department of State/Wikimedia Commons

GCC-New Zealand free trade deal likely next year
The GCC states and New Zealand are expected to sign a free trade agreement next year.
Free trade talks between GCC and Turkey to begin this year
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks between the GCC and Turkey will start this year, according to a senior Turkish government official.
Jordan, GCC make big advancement in FTA negotiations
The Jordanian minister of Industry and Trade said that his country and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have made great advancement in their negotiations for the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Eastern promise
Trade and investment. Not words which always set the pulse racing, the heart pounding.
Japan wants to seal FTAs with GCC — report
Japan wants to open free trade agreement (FTA) talks with the Gulf Cooperation Council, China, India, Australia and South Africa, a top-selling business daily here reported Sunday.
GCC-India FTA to be signed in near future
The GCC-India free trade agreement (FTA) will open over a billion consumers’ market for the Gulf countries.
For the GCC and India, escalating opportunities
Regional economic diversification received a boost when the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and India - which signed a bilateral framework agreement for economic cooperation in August 2004 - announced that final negotiations for a free-trade agreement (FTA) would start this month, to thrash out niggling issues like rules of origin and differential tariffs.
Economic integration of GCC states on cards
The Abu Dhabi Summit, which kicked-off yesterday evening, will come up to the expectations of 40 million Gulf nationals as it is likely to incorporate a road map for greater economic integration of the oil rich region.
GCC needs Fair Trade Agreements
The GCC does not need Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), what it needs is Fair Trade agreements, said Mishal Hamed Kanoo, Deputy Chairman, the Kanoo Group, at the 4th GCC Economic Forum.
GCC chief hails improving S.N. Korea relations
GCC Secretary General HE Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah has said that negotiations are now under way between GCC and China for earlier conclusion of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and that a legal framework is now being made in preparation for the FTA agreement with Korea.