The paper "Merits and Demerits of Regional Free Trade Agreements in reference to the Gulf Cooperation Council " is a good example of a business case study. In a post-second world war, there has been a sustained and growing ‘ Balkanization’ of what hitherto has been unified global trading system. Most free trade agreements play a very vital role in liberalizing trade between the member states and other countries. They aim at making business conduct to be less complicated across the regions and attract more investors enabling the growth in business within a region.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was formed by countries in the Arabia peninsula to forge unity among the Arabic countries. These countries which hold most of the oil reserves in the world have through GCC formed a major global block for trading in the world (PTA dossier 2008). There are many merits and demerits that are associated with Free Trade Agreements within a region. This paper intends to look deeply at these advantages and disadvantages of FTAs within GCC. A description of the structure of GCC will be given, member states, areas where they cooperate, the advantages and disadvantages of FTA and the achievements it has made both politically and economically will be addressed.
The future plans it has for its members will be looked into and a conclusion will be drawn. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) The GCC is an economical, social, regional and political organization which was forged between the Arab states in the Gulf region. Six leaders from this region signed GCC in Riyadh in 1981 on 25th May. Its charter stipulates that it was formed in a bid to effect interconnection, integration and coordination among the states who are its members.
It was aimed at achieving unity in all fields stressing the qualities which are common, special relations and similar governing systems which are based on the Islamic creed and faith where they are bound by the same destiny and a single goal under the identity of Arabs. (BBC News 2008). The main aims of the GCC are: developing regulations that are common in financial and economic affairs, communications and customs, culture and education. The GCC boasts of having six states in its membership.
They include; Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The Structure of GCC An administrative structure is present in GCC and it is made up by the following: Supreme council- This is the highest organ with the most authority in GCC and it comprises the member states heads. The presidency is annually rotated based on the members’ states names in the alphabets. This body is responsible for the provision of direction in policies, review of recommendations and reports from subsidiary bodies.
The council also makes an appointment of the secretary-general and makes an approval on the secretariat general budget. An annual meeting is held by the council but a session which is extraordinary can be held if a member makes a request and gets seconded by another (BBC News 2008). Ministerial council- This is made up by foreign ministers or ministers at the same level as delegated by the member states. The chairmanship is annually rotated with the state hosting the summit taking the chairmanship during the year. Its main duties is a proposal of policies and preparation of recommendations, projects and studies whose main aim is the development of cooperation within the member states.
It also endeavours to develop, encourage and coordinate existing activities in every field within the member states (BBC News 2008). Secretariat general- The secretary-general who gets an appointment from the supreme council is the head of this body. The appointment is made for a term of three years and can be renewed once. This body oversees the preparation of meetings and sees to it that the implementation of policies is duly done (BBC News 2008). Consultative commission- Five representatives from each member state make this commission which is mandated with giving guidance to the supreme council. Consultative for settlement of disputes- This is separately formed for each case on the basis of the disputed nature.
Its main aim is providing resolutions that are peaceful to disputes that arise within the member states. This body can solve political problems such as border disputes amicably. The recommendation it makes are submitted to the supreme council for review and consideration (BBC News 2008). Secretary-General- He is elected by the supreme council on a term of three years and renewal is only done once.
Australia government 2009, Australia- GCC free trade agreements negotiations, Retrieved on May 16, 2009 from http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/fta/gcc/index.html
BBC news 2008, profile: Gulf cooperation council. Retrieved on May 16, 2009 from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/country_profiles/4155001.stm
Beatrice M 2008, The GCC: A Union to be Reckoned with, Rutledge publishers, Pg 6-8
Bilateral Organization 2009, GCC to launch common markets, Retrieved May 16, 2009 from http://www.bilaterals.org/article.php3?id_article=10721&var_recherche=GCC
Derosa, A & Kernohan, D 2004, measuring the economic impact of an EU-GCC FTA, retrieved on May 19, 2009 fromhttp://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:_lodQw91_qgJ:www.ciaonet.org/wps/ded02/ded02.pdf+statistics+on+trade+diversion+created+by+GCC&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ke
Legrenzi M 2003, Long road ahead: Economic integration of GCC, Wiley and sons publishers, Pg 39
Looney, R 2003, Economic Integration in the Gulf Region: does the future hold more promise than the past: strategic insights, Vol. 2 (3), Retrieved on May 16, 2009 from http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil/si/mar03/middleEast2.asp
Mohamad, A 2009, GCC Urged to act against cheap steel imports, Retrieved on May 16, 2009 from http://www.business24-7.ae/articles/2009/4/pages/14042009/04142009_0733f234a70c4fdaa311d547398907cd.aspx
PTA dossier 2008, GCC and EFTA, Retrieved on May 16, 2009 from http://www.cuts-citee.org/pdf/PTADossier-April2008.pdf
Tristan, P 2009, Glossary: GCC, Retrieved on May 16, 2009 from http://middleeast.about.com/od/oilenergy/g/me080117.htm
WTO 2006, Trade policy review, retrieved on May 16, 2009 from http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/g162_e.doc
Zainab, A 2007, GCC to launch common market in January 2008, Retrieved on May 16, 2009 from http://www.bilaterals.org/article.php3?id_article=10721&var_recherche=GCC