EU, GCC hold dialogue to boost economic relation
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