GCC, UK Eye Year-End Trade Pact

London – The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the United Kingdom are actively engaged in negotiations aimed at finalizing a free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of 2024. This ambitious timeline was confirmed during a high-level meeting between GCC Secretary-General Jasem Albudaiwi and UK Secretary of State for Business and Trade Jonathan Reynolds in London on Wednesday.

Albudaiwi expressed optimism about the progress of the negotiations, highlighting the strong commitment from both parties to expedite the process. He emphasized the shared desire to bolster economic ties and create new opportunities for businesses in both regions. Reynolds echoed this sentiment, affirming the UK government's dedication to concluding the FTA before the year's end.

The potential FTA is seen as a significant step in strengthening the strategic partnership between the GCC and the UK. It is expected to eliminate or reduce tariffs on goods and services, facilitate investment, and promote cooperation in various sectors, including trade, energy, and technology.

Both sides have recognized the substantial benefits of a comprehensive trade deal, which could lead to increased economic growth, job creation, and enhanced prosperity for their respective nations. As negotiations move forward, officials from both sides remain optimistic about reaching a mutually beneficial agreement that will further solidify the economic relationship between the GCC and the UK.

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