GCC Seeks Bloc Strategy for WTO Negotiations
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is working on a strategy that will allow it to speak as a bloc in future negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO), reported the Gulf Daily News on Wednesday.
“It will take the European Union's wide experience with the WTO as a model,” a senior emirati customs official said.
“At present, each GCC country is talking individually to the WTO,” he said.
But when a customs union takes shape by 2005, the GCC may have to negotiate trade issues as a bloc with the WTO, he added.
A Gulf Arab customs union is the key to dealing with the international community, said Mohammed Ahmed Al Kait, head of the UAE Customs Council.
GCC economic integration should be achieved in phases, including the initial establishment of a free trade zone, customs union, and a shared market, he added.
“This is becoming more important, because the GCC will need to form relationships with other Arab partners in the Arab Free Trade Zone.” – Albawaba.com
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