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
The Saudi-Bahraini dispute over Manama’s free trade pact with Washington that overshadowed a summit of Gulf Arab states could derail their bid for economic integration, economists said yesterday.
A free trade deal between the United States and the tiny Persian Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain is causing friction with other Arab states, which say the pact could weaken their economic bloc ahead of future trade talks with Washington.
The GCC states are seeking, both individually and collectively, to rapidly develop their foreign trade and economic relations.
The framework for a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the GCC states will be signed this week, it has been revealed. The agreement will be signed during the visit of Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Dr Mohammed Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah, who will be heading a GCC delegation, including senior officials from Bahrain’s Commerce Ministry.
China is to sign a trade and economic cooperation pact with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are exploring the possibility of signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with India, Commerce Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Ali Saleh Al Saleh, has said.