- About bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan sign quadripartite FTA
Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan Sign Quadripartite FTA
Turkey will join an economic bloc comprising of the Middle Eastern states such as Syria, Lebanon and Jordan ahead of the protracted accession to the EU. Last weekend, the four nations jointly agreed to follow up on creating a free trade zone to boost trade exchanges particularly to support SMEs of respective countries by eliminating trade barriers.
The Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Zafer Çaglayan hosted the meeting, and was attended by the Syrian Economy and Trade Minister Lamia Assi, the Jordanian Minister of Industry and Trade Amir al-Hadidi and the Lebanese Economy and Trade Minister Mohammad Safadi. The meet decided to form a committee, the Close Neighbors Economic and Trade Partnership Council (CNETAC) to further its cause.
The committee will work on to sketch a roadmap to determine priorities regarding areas of co-operation, and will hold its first meeting in September in Amman, Jordan. The meet further informed that a follow-up of the CNETAC ministerial meeting would be held in the Syrian capital of Damascus in December.
Çaglayan apprised that the goal of the bloc would be to increase and diversify trade and investments among the four countries by creating a liberal trade and investment environment with a modern infrastructure at the international level, free from all tariff and non-tariff barriers, encompassed by a geography which fed a population of 105mn and, as of 2009, had a combined GDP of $723bn, imports amounted to $176bn and exports to $131bn.
In response, Lamia Assi said a Syrian market worth $300bn was awaiting Turkey, and the country could achieve a 40 percent advantage in trade with other Arab countries including Saudi Arabia by sending goods via Syria as her state enjoyed customs-free with Arab nations due to the Arab Free Trade Agreement.
According to the Turkish Trade Minister, the bilateral trade between Turkey and Syria is $795mn three years ago, but is $1.8bn by 2009.
Turkey’s proximity to the Middle Eastern countries has had invited criticisms from some quarters that the country was shifting its axis by turning away from the West and gradually becoming more of a Middle Eastern state. Çaglayan rebutted the argument by saying that Turkey’s axis was with the world but not region-centric.
By Jose Roy
News from the movements
11-Feb-2016 Biodiversidad en América LatinaDefender la primacía de los derechos humanos sobre las ganancias de las corporaciones es decir NO al TPP.
An assessment of the possible implications of the EAC-EU EPA on Kenyan agricultural sector and its compatibility with the WTO rulesThe full implementation of EPA, may shift consumption away from local products, to EU goods.
9-Feb-2016 EDRiThe greatest concerns regarding TiSA involve the introduction of greater limitations on the government’s right to regulate and the inclusion of potentially harmful provisions for the protection of the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection.
8-Feb-2016 ITUCThe ITUC has called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) a major setback for employment and workers’ rights prospects, and signaled the determination of unions in TPP countries to oppose it.
5-Feb-2016 MSFMSF urges all ASEAN member states to lead an effort to reject the ratification and implementation of the TPP and the expansion of its negative consequences for public health in the whole region.
5-Feb-2016 ISCKim-Hwang Kyeongsan, General Secretary of the Korean Woman Peasants’ Association, explains the government’s recent rice policy that hurts rice farmers and impacts Korea’s food sovereignty and how FTAs make it worse.
1-Feb-2016 War on WantGerman MPs will be granted restricted access to documents from secret EU-US trade negotiations. Access to the documents will only be possible under supervision.
1-Feb-2016 AFL-CIOThe U.S. government claims the labor protections in the Trans-Pacific Partnership are “gold standard,” but we need to look no further than Honduras to see how inadequate and unenforced labor obligations endanger workers’ lives.
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Get involved.