Gulf Council fails to approve free trade with Turkey

The leaders of the oil-rich Gulf Arab countries formally welcomed strategic dialogue with Turkey.

Gulf Council fails to approve free trade with Turkey

The leaders of the oil-rich Gulf Arab countries formally welcomed strategic dialogue with Turkey at the end of their 31st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit held in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi.

The strategic dialogue meeting, held under the auspices of Kuwait, holder of the rotating presidency of the GCC in October, was attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, The GCC, represented by Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah sought to improve ties with emerging Turkey within the economic cooperation framework agreement, which was signed in Manama in 2005.

The second strategic dialogue was held in İstanbul in July 2009, while the first was in Jeddah in September 2008. The Jeddah meeting witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding to establish a mechanism for the venue of the strategic dialogue.

Turkey was frustrated, however, with the protracted negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the GCC countries.

Turkish officials, including Davutoğlu, expressed hope that the agreement would be in place by the end of the year; yet, the summit held earlier this week saw no progress on the issue. Industry observers argue that the flood of cheap Turkish steel and iron products in the GCC market was, among others, a major obstacle in finalizing FTA talks.

The Supreme Council, the main decision-making body of the GCC, approved the decisions of the Economic and Financial Cooperation Committee for amendments to the anti-dumping code and anti-dumping and countervailing measures in order to comply with the relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) requirements and international standards. This may spell further headaches for Turkish exporters, who were accused of dumping cheap steel into the GCC market.

Along with Turkey, the GCC is also pursuing a strategic dialogue with China, a major trading partner for GCC countries, and the first strategic dialogue meeting with China was held in Beijing on June 4, 2010. As a bloc, the GCC is also talking with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries for a strategic dialogue.


Agencies

Last Mod: 08 Aralık 2010, 17:23
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