EFTA and the Gulf Cooperation Council hold their third joint committee meeting

Published 07-03-2019
The EFTA States and the Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held their third Joint Committee meeting on 4 March in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Mr Erik Andreas Underland from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries in Norway acted as the EFTA spokesperson, while Dr Hamad Bin Sulaiman Al-Bazai, General Coordinator for GCC FTA Negotiations, from Saudi Arabia, acted as the GCC spokesperson.

The meeting was preceded by a meeting of the Sub-Committee on Trade in Goods and Rules of Origin on 3 March . The Joint Committee focused its discussions on the general functioning of the agreement since its entry into force and dismantling of customs duties which are due to be eliminated on 1 July 2019.

Based on the suggestion from the Sub-Committee, the Joint Committee decided to establish a working group on trade facilitation. The working group is mandated to negotiate a chapter on trade facilitation with the aim of adopting such a chapter as an integral part of the Agreement. Furthermore, the Sub-Committee start work on updating HS tariff codes in the Agreement. The Joint Committee will also adopt by written procedure enhanced commitments by Kuwait in some services sectors.

Various other subjects were also on the agenda, such as economic developments, tax reforms in the GCC States, intellectual property rights and trade and sustainable development.

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