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Gulf states call for conclusion of FTA with Europe

Export fees and charges are the main obstacles to the resumption of negotiations

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states said that more efforts should be made to overcome the obstacles to the conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union.

This statement was made during the most recent EU-GCC ministerial meeting that took place in Doha, Qatar on May 24, 2015, reports Al Jazeera.

Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, the GCC’s secretary general, says that export fees and charges are the main obstacles to the resumption of negotiations between the two parties, while the two sides have agreed on the other issues.

Al Zayani says that European exports account for 68 per cent of the GCC’s total trade.

The GCC secretary general adds that the GCC countries believe that the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are sufficient to regulate the right of states to impose export fees and that it is possible to deal with this subject, based on the framework of those rules. This, he feels, should be helpful in resuming consultations on the FTA between the two sides.

HE Khalid Bin Mohamed Al Attiya, Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, says that the trade between the EU and GCC has been growing at an “incredible rate” and reached $152 billion, compared with $110bn in 2010.