Saudi Arabia: 2013 report to explore GCC's bid to forge stronger trade ties
- Saudi Arabia: Sunday, June 24 - 2012 at 16:19
- PRESS RELEASE
Decade-old talks to seal a free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union and the GCC could be close to a successful conclusion, according toEU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
"I believe we could be in a position to close a deal soon with clear political willingness on both sides," he said.
The full interview with De Gucht will appear inThe Report: Saudi Arabia 2013,the Group's sixth guide on the Kingdom's economic activity and investment opportunities. The forthcoming report will include a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for foreign investors, alongside a wide range of interviews with the most prominent political, economic and business leaders, including the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Maria van der Hoeven, Turkey's Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayanand the former prime minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz.
De Gucht also highlighted the need for structural reform in the economies of the Middle East, saying that weaknesses, such as inefficient labour markets, low trade integration and high food and energy prices, had been contributing factors in the uprisings across the region. "The unrest in the region did not result solely from dissatisfaction with the entrenched political establishments and a lack of democracy," he said. "People need to be equipped with education and training for the right jobs."
He was confident that moves to introduce policies aimed at promoting inclusive growth, increasing the role of the private sector and fighting unemployment, together with ongoing efforts aimed at fostering international and regional trade integration, would pave the way for economic expansion in the GCC.
"The region needs diversification for economic development and growth," he said.
"Trade, together with the right accompanying policies, will be key factors for the Gulf region's success."
The Report: Saudi Arabia 2013 will mark the culmination of more than ten months of on-the-ground research by a team of analysts from the Group. It will provide information on opportunities for foreign direct investment into the Kingdom's economy and will act as a guide to the many facets of the country including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and sectoral developments. The Report: Saudi Arabia 2013 will be available in print form or online.
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