GCC Members Vow to Drive for Customs Union

Published May 28th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said Saturday they had renewed a pledge to set up a customs union aimed at stimulating growth and opening the way to a free-trade deal with the European Union (EU), reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA) Saturday. 

In a press statement issued after a meeting in Riyadh of GCC finance and economics ministers, Saudi representative Ibrahim al-Assaf was quoted as saying that the countries "agreed to push ahead with establishing a customs union." 

He made no mention of a date. 

However, AFP said Sunday that the GCC countries have set March 2005 as the date for setting up the union, but progress has been dogged by internal differences. 

The 15-state EU has insisted that the GCC must have its own customs union before it signs a free-trade agreement that will open up its petrochemical and aluminum smelting industries to tariff-free competition from the Gulf, AFP added – (Several Sources) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

You may also like