The Gulf Aluminium Council (GAC), the regional industry trade association, is building links with the Federation of Aluminium Consumers in Europe (Face) as part of its campaign to lobby for lower tariffs on GCC aluminium exports to the EU, the MEED Middle East Aluminium 2012 Conference was told on 6 March.

“Face represents independent downstream firms,” said GAC general secretary Mahmood Daylami. “The main reason why we built this affiliation is because they are advocates of the removal of the tariff on aluminium on products from the Gulf.”

Daylami said that tariffs on aluminium exports to the EU will be covered by the EU-GCC free trade agreement, which has been under negotiation for more than 20 years.

“The EU is an attractive market, but it is losing its production capacity,” Daylami said. “The question for Europe is: where is it going to get aluminium from in five or 10 years’ time? The market in Europe needs Gulf aluminium. The question is whether the Gulf will need Europe”

“The answer is yes,” Daylami said.

The GAC was created in 2010 by the aluminium smelters of the GCC. It is based in Dubai.