Bahrain Major Trade Agreements

Bahrain is the first member of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the third Arab country to lend a free trade agreement with the United States. The Free Trade Agreement between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United States is an international agreement designed to promote increased trade between the two countries. Free trade agreements (FTAs) are international agreements that promote import and export trade between countries. Generally speaking, free trade agreements remove barriers between countries, allowing participants to comply with agreed legislation and be treated as citizens of foreign countries in commercial transactions. The first steps in free trade negotiations between Bahrain and the United States date back to 1999, with the signing of a bilateral investment agreement (ILO), which entered into force on 31 May 2001. This is the first treaty of its kind signed between the United States and a GCC member and aims to boost the flow of private investment between the two countries. Both sides agreed that a stable investment framework would maximize the effective use of economic resources and improve living standards. A year later, a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was signed on 18 June 2002, which marked the start of FTA negotiations. The TIFA was conceived as a forum for an ongoing bilateral dialogue on economic reforms and trade liberalization. The Agreement provides for the immediate or progressive elimination of customs duties and obstacles to bilateral trade in goods and services originating in the Kingdom of Bahrain or the United States. Bahrain is considered one of the most open economies in the Middle East and North Africa.

The free trade agreement between the GCC and the EFTA states was signed in June 2009 and includes 93 articles and 16 annexes covering trade in goods, trade in services, competition and more. Manufacturing companies may face considerable financial and logistical challenges, but Bahrain makes the decision easier. Bahraini companies benefit not only from international trade agreements, but also from cost reduction, a strategic location, a highly skilled workforce and workforce, as well as a first-class infrastructure with a favorable tax regime in sectors such as the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP). Bahrain is a member of the World Trade Organization (since 1995) and the Gulf Cooperation Council. The free trade agreement contains mutual obligations, cooperation agreements, and customs rules and procedures, including: removing all barriers to trade for services while opening up the U.S. market to Bahraini service providers. . . .

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