Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun

Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun

GPCA welcomes EU move on GCC partnership

01 June 2022

The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) has welcomed the EU’s announcement to adopt a strategic partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council and its member states in the areas of energy security and trade.

The joint communication, unveiled by the EU, further addresses a series of key policy areas and presents concrete proposals to strengthen EU-GCC cooperation on the green transition, climate change, trade, economic diversification, regional stability and global security, among others, GPCA said.

GPCA welcomes the opportunity for closer cooperation between the GCC states and the EU as it would not only provide significant socio-economic benefits for the people of both regions, but it would also advance their efforts to solve sustainability challenges.

The announcement aligns with GPCA’s position on strengthening bilateral trade with Europe by removing trade barriers and tariffs. After Asia, Western Europe is the GCC’s second largest export partner for chemicals and petrochemicals, with 6.7 mt exported in 2020.

Since its inception in 2006, GPCA has consistently advocated for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two regions. The GCC is currently signatory to an FTA with the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) comprising Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, but a wider FTA with the EU is yet to be reached. In the current landscape, geopolitical crises, energy supply challenges and increased trade tensions continue to underline the importance of forming strategic partnerships with a reliable, long-term partner, GPCA said.

Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented: “The EU signaling its intent to strengthen cooperation with the GCC states is a welcome move for both parties, as it will help to contribute to energy security for the EU member states, secure a diversified source of energy at a competitive price, and provide feedstock supply for key industries on the European continent.”  

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