Malaysia hopes to draw FTA framework with GCC countries

16:56, June 03, 2010      

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Abdul Rahman ibn Hamad al-Attiyah, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), talks to his assistant during a meeting of the GCC in Muscat December 28, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

Malaysia hopes to draw up a free trade agreement (FTA) framework with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries by October this year, a Malaysian official said here on Thursday.

The economic ministers of the GCC countries were committed to setting up the FTA framework, Malaysian Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Mukhriz Mahathir told reporters.

According to the deputy minister, GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Hamad al-Attiyah has indicated that he might be in Kuala Lumpur this October, and Malaysia hopes to sign the framework during Abdul Rahman's visit.

GCC comprises the Persian Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Malaysia is seeking to expand two-way trade and investments with the GCC countries in all sectors, especially Islamic banking and finance, construction, information communication technology and renewable energy.

Other sectors that are of interest to Malaysia include property and tourism.

Mukhriz said that at present, there was a moratorium since GCC had to complete negotiations with Europe and the United States before engaging Malaysia.



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