The framework for economic and political cooperation between the EU and the GCC countries is the 1988 EU-GCC Cooperation Agreement, which aims to improve trade relations and stability in a strategic part of Europe`s neighbourhood. The agreement created a Joint Council and a Joint Cooperation Committee, which meet annually. In the field of intellectual property, the parties confirm in substance the WTO TRIPS Agreement. They undertake to conclude negotiations on an annex on the nature and ownership of intellectual property no later than two years after the entry into force of the Agreement. In the meantime, a specific consultation mechanism is provided for in the event of intellectual property problems affecting the conditions of exchange between the parties. The EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council started negotiations for a free trade agreement in 1990. The free trade agreement must provide for progressive and reciprocal liberalisation of trade in goods and services. In 2017, New Zealand`s exports of goods and services to the GCC amounted to NZ$1.98 billion and total two-way trade amounted to NZ$4.66 billion. The GCC countries are our seventh export target. Status: Negotiations were concluded in October 2009. We continue to receive positive signals regarding the willingness of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including Saudi Arabia, to relaunch the process of completing the new Zealand-GCC free trade agreement. However, there are still a few steps to be taken by the GCC before this happens, and officials continue to cooperate with the GCC countries to this end.
The current regional dynamics have also had an impact on the ability of GCC states to make a collective decision. As a result, it is unlikely that the free trade agreement will be concluded until this impasse is resolved. The Chapter on Trade in Services (Chapter 3) closely follows the approach of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). . . .