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EU says informal contact with GCC continues on free trade accord.

| BRUSSELS, Feb 18 (KUNA) -- The European Union Monday announced that "informal contacts " between the European Union and Gulf Cooperation Council negotiators on a free trade agreement continue to take place.

Negotiations for a free trade agreement with the EU were suspended by the Gulf Cooperation Council in 2008, noted a press release on the EU's free trade agreements.

In December 2011, the EU decided to begin talks on a Comprehensive Free Trade Areas with Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, to "upgrade" the current trade agreements with these countries.

The EU agreed on 29 November to start negotiations with Morocco soon.

Over the next two years, 90% of world market demand will be generated outside the EU. That's why it is a key priority for the EU to open up more market opportunities for European businesses by negotiating new Free Trade Agreements with key countries, noted the EU press release.

"If we were to complete all our current free trade talks tomorrow, we'd be adding to the EU economy 2.2% to our GDP, or 275 billion euro," it said.

The EU therefore has nine trade negotiations under way and several more trade and development negotiations ongoing with countries around the world, it added. (end) KUNA 181457 Feb 13NNNN

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Feb 18, 2013
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