Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Single Currency for Gulf States :|
|12/31/01 at 20:29:11|
Step in the right direction. I wish the Arab states include other islamic/muslim nations in this union and trade more freely with other muslims nations instead of EU. I hope and pray that next ten years they combine the armies and tear down borders. Allah Alam.
Gulf states agree single currency
December 31, 2001 Posted: 10:33 AM EST (1533 GMT)
By Ghaida Ghantous
MUSCAT, Oman -- The six Gulf Arab states that own half the world's oil reserves have agreed to set up a customs union and single currency, paving the way for a long-sought trade deal with the European Union.
Leaders of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates signed the agreement to establish a single currency by 2010 at the end of a two-day annual summit in Oman
They also agreed to move forward a plan to adopt a customs union from 2005 to 2003.
"The leaders decided to advance the date for implementing the customs union to January 1, 2003...and lowered tariffs on foreign imports to five percent," said a communique read by Jameel al-Hujailan, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
A previous agreement lowering customs from the present 4-15 percent had set a start date of 2005.
The deal paves the way for a free trade pact with the European Union, the region's main trading partner.
Gulf officials have accused the Union of foot-dragging over free trade, saying the GCC had fulfilled its requirements to reach a deal streamlining trade worth about $46 billion.
They warned they may reconsider the pact if no progress is made in talks on the deal -- hampered by EU demands for GCC common tariffs and by protectionist EU policies.
"Now there are no more excuses for them to postpone signing the free trade zone (agreement) between the two blocs," the GCC envoy to the European Union, Najeeb al-Rawas, told reporters.
The main dispute is over a six percent EU duty on primary aluminium Gulf exports. Two aluminium smelters in Bahrain and the UAE produce more than a million tonnes per year, about 5 percent of the world's total.
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