Qatar News Agency
GCC Secretary General: EU responsible for obstructing the free trade deal
29 October 2008
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) GCC Secretary General H.E. Abdurrahman bin Hamad Al-Attiyah laid the responsibility on the European Union for obstructing the conclusion of the free trade agreement between the two sides which was signed in 1988 despite the developed economic and cultural bilateral relations during the last two centuries.
The GCC Secretary General’s speech was delivered by Director of the Researches and Studies at the GCC General Secretarial Najeeb al-Shamsi before the first French-Gulf Economic Forum which kicked off in Paris today.
In his speech, H.E. Al-Attiyah noted that the trade balance between the two sides was largely in favor of Europeans because of the obstacles the EU imposed on the GCC exports.
The GCC Secretary General reviewed a number of obstacles which put by the EU and prevent the signing of the free trade agreement between the two sides, in spite of the implementation of the Gulf Customs Union since 2005 which was a European main condition to conclude the agreement.
The GCC Secretary General noted that the European Union is still imposing high taxes on the GCC exports and criticized the EU determination to connect between the free trade agreement and unrelated political issues such as human rights and counter terrorism.
Enhancing the economic and trading relations between the GCC States and the European Union needs more attention in the strategic domains like energy, investment and mutual trade between the GCC states and the European Union, as well as the cooperation between the two sides to boost regional security in the GCC region and the Middle East through resolving the region’s crisis by peaceful means, the GCC Secretary General added.