Friday, May 04, 2007

The Arab World, through GCC, Gets Serious with MERCOSUR

Looks like Mercosur is hitting it big off-late. First, it's going to be opening its parliament this month. Now, we're getting fresh news that the Arab world that had heretofore been rather lethargic on expressing itself in collaboration with other regional blocs, is now entertaining no less than a free trade area that will be completed by June with MERCOSUR.

Oh baby.

This is good stuff for the Gulf Cooperation Council that rarely features in this part of the world:

the free trade agreement between the Mercosur and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should be concluded up to the end of June of this year. The GCC includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman. This week the Emirates were visited by one of the presidents of the Mercosur, the Uruguayan Tabaré Vasquez.

Thankfully, the leitmotiv behind this alliance is not one solely predicated on free trade; there is talk about other things, too:

Another point presented by the secretary general at the Arab Chamber was the integration of productive chains within the bloc, especially in the automotive, energy and petrochemical industry sectors. "It is not enough just to seek trade, it is also necessary to seek productive integration, otherwise there may be an imbalance in exports and imports," he declared

Wow. There's a turn-up for the books: not enough just to seek trade!

The secretary general of the Arab Chamber is talking about productive integration.

That's certainly one to look out for! With MERCOSUR and its associated countries talking about energy, this type of integration is probably a trend that needs to be looked out for...

good weekend!

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