Negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and the Gulf Cooperation Council began in July 2007. Composed of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the GCC is Australia`s 10th largest export market. She hopes that growing cross-trade relations, now worth AD$12 billion, will take over an FTA agreement that has stalled since 2009. Under the Banner of Australia Unlimited MENA 2015, the Australian Trade Commission will host a series of events to promote bilateral trade in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (12-13), Riyadh (14-15) and Kuwait (18-19). The Commission hopes that the growing trade relations between the two countries will contribute to the resumption of a blocked free trade agreement. In 2007, Australia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) began negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between them. The last round took place in 2009. In 2014, the Council of Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council agreed on the continuation of negotiations. Australia and the Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) share important economic and trade relations: foreign trade in goods and services and foreign direct investment (FDI). Negotiations are extremely slow, as the GCC is currently negotiating agreements with other parties, including the EU. AFTINET shares similar concerns to others regarding these negotiations and calls for greater transparency and an assessment of the social, environmental and labour impact of an agreement. “In general, we try to bring them down to zero, but that can be noticeable.

We are trying to convince countries that the benefits outs outsigh the short-term costs. Food & Beverage is one of the other most notable sectors, with growth of 33%, supported by the many air routes between the GCC and Australia, which now have 280 flights per week. Kang acknowledged, however, that tariffs could prove to be a stumbling blocks, especially in the current climate, with unpredictable oil prices. He added that the third edition of Australia Unlimited would focus on education and training and sustainable urban development, sectors that are important for the Gulf countries and where Australia has expertise. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a trading bloc consisting of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (United Arab Emirates). Uae events include an “Innovation Culinary Cook Off” at ICCA Dubai (April 7) and the Choithrams Australian Goodness Festival (April 12-25), where buyers who spend Dhs100 can enter a raffle to win two return tickets to Melbourne and five nights in a five-star hotel. The Gulf countries are important markets for Australian live animals and food export products….