Gulf Nations Announce New Customs Union
nder the guidelines announced by the six countries, a uniform 5% import
tariff will be adopted by 2003 replacing the current tariff structure for
each country which varies from 5% to 15%.
The Gulf Cooperation Council, a loosely organized political alliance
established in 1981, had previously announced plans to set up a customs
union by 2005, but has decided to accelerate the process in order to become
better positioned for potential free trade negotiations with E.U. or other
Western powers in the near future and to implement a new regional currency.
The member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council account for about
half of the world’s known oil reserves.