EU, GCC hold di­a­logue to boost eco­nomic re­la­tion

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

BRUSSELS: The 6th an­nual di­a­logue be­tween the 28-mem­ber Euro­pean Union (EU) and the six-mem­ber Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) started yes­ter­day with the fo­cus of dis­cus­sions ex­pected to be on the im­pact on the economies of the two sides due to the drop in oil prices.

Elena Flores, di­rec­tor for in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial re­la­tions in the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, who is lead­ing the EU side at the Di­a­logue, said there are var­i­ous in­stances of di­a­logue be­tween the Gulf coun­tries and the EU.

“With this di­a­logue here we want to ad­dress macro-eco­nomic is­sues in­clud­ing fis­cal and mon­e­tary struc­tural re­forms. This di­a­logue is very in­ter­est­ing as it al­lows peo­ple to speak very openly about shared prob­lems, shared dif­fi­cul­ties. We have com­mon chal­lenges like oil prices,” she told\ the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), ahead of the meet­ing.

“For Europe it has been so far help­ful for growth but it is some­thing that we can­not cash it like for­ever. So we also need to pre­pare to know what we can ex­pect devel­op­ments in the medium term,”said Flores who hails from Spain.

“For the Gulf coun­tries this is an is­sue about di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion in the eco­nomic base which is also some­thing for Europe in dif­fer­ent ways but we also need to di­ver­sify be­cause mar­kets are chang­ing,” she said. “I ex­pect a fruit­ful dis­cus­sion. I ex­pect real ex­change and for sure to learn some­thing about each other. The GCC is an im­por­tant part­ner for the EU,”she added.

The Di­a­logue is co-chaired from the GCC side by Ahmed Mo­ham­mad Al-Mar­zouqi, di­rec­tor for in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion eco­nomic and trade agree­ment depart­ment in the Qatari min­istry of econ­omy and commerce. Qatar holds the cur­rent GCC Pres­i­dency. The Kuwaiti del­e­ga­tion is led by Sami Al-Saqabi, As­sis­tant un­der sec­re­tary for eco­nomic af­fairs in the min­istry of fi­nance. The GCC in­cludes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Ara­bia and UAE. — KUNA

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