Abu Dhabi : Iran has highlighted the importance of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) saying it would benefit the region, the Gulf News said Wednesday.
In an interview to the newspaper, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Hamid Reza Asefi said that the proposed Iran-GCC FTA would help in boosting the region’s economy.
“It would also help promote peace and security in the region and directly affect the future of the Islamic countries,” Asefi was quoted as saying.
According to the ambassador, Iran’s global exports exceeded $100 billion in 2006.
“The (Gulf) countries will have to discuss this matter in detail. After negotiations a time-table could be set,” he said.
It was reported that a ministerial panel comprising foreign ministers of the six GCC countries had agreed to start negotiations at Iran’s request for an FTA between the two sides.
Established in 1981, GCC is a regional political and economic alliance aimed at enhancing cooperation among its six member states — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.