Oman Daily Observer
First GCC-Asean business forum set
26 July 2011
By Kabeer Yousuf
MUSCAT — Aiming to explore further trade and investment opportunities in many areas, the Sultanate will host the first GCC-Asean Business Forum in February next year.
To be organised in co-ordination with the various chambers of commerce, the forum will address key issues such as connectivity, service sectors and e-commerce which are vital for development, according to the officials at the recently held meeting of the First GCC-Asean Senior Economic Officials’ in Salalah.
“The key areas include connectivity which includes infrastructure, transportation and communication along with construction and other service sectors and IT services,” a senior official told the Observer.
“The third key area includes incubation and support to small and medium enterprises particularly in IT, E-commerce and tourism,” he added.
The meeting will also explore the possibility of operating an electronic centre that would make available trade and investment information such as regulatory information, investment opportunities and legislative environment for business in both regions.
The first meeting of GCC-Asean member states held in Salalah had emphasised on positive roles played by both regions.
The participants have agreed to recommend to their respective ministers a framework on trade, investment and economic co-operation to explore the possibility of negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two groups.
Additionally, discussions to give major impetus to the private sector of both regions were also held.
The member states discussed and seriously gave follow up nod for exploring further trade and investment opportunities in the private sector.
They recalled the provisions in the Two-Year Action Plan (2010-2012) adopted at the Second Ministerial Meeting held in Singapore in June last year on enhancing co-operation in financial and banking services between the regions.