GCC embraces collective free trade spirit
GCC countries are set to sign collective free trade agreements (FTAs) with several countries and economic blocs, encouraging foreign investment and creating new job opportunities, a report said.
The agreements will be signed with Japan, the European Union (EU), Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), South Korea, China, India, Turkey, Russia and Australia, according to the report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
A report on the outcome of negotiations relating to the agreements was discussed in Bahrain’s Cabinet at its weekly session yesterday (September 29).
"Negotiations have been excellent and have reached their goal and soon Bahrain, alongside GCC countries, will be signing FTAs with several economic blocks and friendly countries," said Minister of State for Information Affairs and government's official spokeswoman Sameera Rajab during a Press conference following the session.
"The FTAs are in line with the framework of political and economic co-ordination between GCC states and other economic, regional and international blocks and groups in accordance to the GCC's Economic Agreement.
"The report submitted by a GCC negotiating team has shown that signing the agreements will add to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Gulf states.
"At the level of Bahrain, the FTAs will contribute to creating new job opportunities, widening the economic base and encouraging foreign investment."
Bahrain signed an FTA with the US in 2004, which is set for renewal next year.
"All FTAs, including the one with the US, will be now studied by the concerned ministerial committee before a report is submitted to the Cabinet," added Rajab