RIYADH: Gulf Cooperation Council countries are embarking on a strategic mission to boost their foreign trade prospects and attract substantial investments by sealing multiple free trade agreements, according to its secretary-general.
Jasem Mohamed Al-Budaiwi’s remarks came during his meeting with Damien O’Connor, New Zealand’s minister of trade and export growth, held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the GCC in Riyadh, reported the Saudi Press Agency.
During the meeting, the two parties discussed trade cooperation between the GCC countries and New Zealand, Al-Budaiwi explained.
He said the two sides also discussed the possibility of reaching a free trade agreement. The GCC official said economic cooperation is necessary to ensure sustainable growth.
In addition to this, both sides also discussed ways to strengthen their economic relations with countries and international groups, especially in light of the global economic challenges and the fast-evolving geopolitical situation, Al-Budaiwi added.
Earlier this month, economic relations between the GCC countries and Singapore received a boost following a meeting between officials from the two sides in Riyadh that discussed ways to enhance cooperation in several areas of interest.
Al-Budaiwi met with Singapore Ambassador Wen Zhao Ming in the Saudi capital to promote and strengthen multilateral trade relations, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency at the time.
The GCC official stressed that the Gulf countries have distinguished relations with Singapore, especially in the economic, trade, and investment fields.
The treaty allows GCC goods duty-free access to the Singapore market while allowing the Asian country’s domestic exports to the Gulf region on a tariff-free concession.
In July, the GCC and Japan signed agreement to resume negotiations on a free-trade deal as they reaffirmed the importance of close cooperation to strengthen their economic relations.
At the time, the signing took place on the sidelines of a meeting between Al-Budaiwi and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in Jeddah.
In a joint statement released at the time, the two sides said it is their desire to expand trade liberalization and investment in a “mutually beneficial manner.”
The GCC is composed of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Source: Arab News