Gulf Crisis Hits UK-GCC Trade Talks

Plans for a UK-Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) meeting in London this year have been put on hold due to the ongoing crisis involving GCC members, reported The Guardian. 

British Prime Minster Theresa May have announced last year that the country will host the first meeting of the GCC nations outside the Gulf in December as mark of growing trade and security ties with the regional bloc. UK trade with GCC states, at £30bn, was higher than its exports to China and more than double those to India in 2016, the report pointed out.

 

Britain wants a free trade deal with the bloc which includes some of the richest economies in the world in the model the Singapore-GCC trade deal. A UK-GCC trade working group has already in place. 

However, the bloc formed in 1981 is witnessing one of the worst crises in its history as the political and economic embargo of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt entered third month recently. All nations except Egypt are part of six-member GCC. Kuwait which is mediating the crisis and Oman are the two other countries in the bloc.  

Source: qatarday

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