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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Qatar Chamber calls for reviving free trade negotiations between GCC, EU

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It is essential for GCC states to adopt a unified position, Qatar Chamber (QC) said.

The chairman of Qatar Chamber, Khalifa al-Thani, called for the revival of free trade negotiations between the Gulf countries and the European Union in a virtual meeting on Wednesday.

“It is essential for GCC states to adopt a unified position when concluding more economic agreements with world countries in a way that better benefit Gulf citizens,” al-Thani said.

The virtual meeting was held to discuss potential ways to enhance cooperation in the industrial and commercial sectors between member countries. 

Read also: Hostility to Islam could impact economic relations, Qatar chamber says

Participating in the meeting were the GCC Ministers of Commerce and Industry and presidents of Unions and Chambers.

During the webinar, al-Thani highlighted the importance of reviving the free trade negotiations with the EU and other countries, including the UK, Australia and other economic blocs.

Al-Thani stressed “the great and positive impact” such agreements will have on the GCC if resumed, given that it was initially started in Riyadh and Brussels earlier “but had stopped for a long time.” 

Business owners in the region will greatly benefit from the agreement, said al-Thani, since it will establish easy procedures of import and export operations globally. 

Participating members also reviewed other topics in the webinar, including industrial integration in the health, medical, agricultural, and food industries.  

Topics of food security investment were also mentioned.

The GCC has been fractured since June 2017 when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed an illegal land, air, and sea blockade, citing terrorism as the main reason.

Qatar has consistently denied such allegations and said there was “no legitimate justification” for the severance of relations or the use of collective punishment through embargo.


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