GAFTA

The Arab League has a long history of trying to foster trade and economic cooperation among its member states, with several initiatives taken in the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1981, an agreement to facilitate and promote inter-Arab trade was signed, but to little effect.

In February 1997, the League decided to create an Arab Free Trade Area, also known as the Greater Arab Free Trade Area or the Pan-Arab Free Trade Area, by 2008. This would be achieved through a 10% reduction in customs fees each year as well as the gradual elimination of trade barriers. Eighteen of the 22 Arab League states signed on to this agreement, which came into force on 1 January 1998.

In March 2001, it was decided to speed up the liberalisation process, and on 1 January 2005 the elimination of most tariffs among the GAFTA members was enforced.

The 17 states that are members of GAFTA are: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Others are in the process of joining.

last update: May 2012


    Articles

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  • 14-May-2013 Gulf Times ‘Full, free’ trade agreement can enhance inter-Arab ties
    The full implementation of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (Gafta) has the potential of achieving greater economic integration, QNB has said in an analysis.
  • 23-Jan-2013 Prensa Latina Arabes acuerdan crear zona de libre comercio para 2015
    El acuerdo de crear una unión aduanera para establecer una zona de libre comercio en 2015 descuella entre los resultados de la III Cumbre de Desarrollo Económico y Social Arabe en Riad
  • 23-Jan-2013 OLJ Les pays arabes décident de finaliser cette année leur zone de libre-échange
    Les membres de la Ligue se sont résolus à encourager les investissements interarabes afin de lutter contre le chômage et la pauvreté, à l’origine des soulèvements populaires.
  • 22-Jan-2013 Arabs agree to establish a free trade zone by 2015
    The agreement to create a customs union to establish a free trade area in 2015 stands out among the results of the Third Summit of Arab Economic and Social Development, which closed here today.
  • 22-Oct-2012 El Moudjahid Grande zone arabe de libre-échange (Gzale) : L’Algérie négocie le bien-fondé de sa liste négative
    Les discussions sur la liste négative de 1.260 produits, dont l’Algérie veut limiter l’importation auprès des pays membres de la Grande zone arabe de libre-échange (Gzale), se poursuivent
  • 13-Jan-2010 Algérie Focus Grosse arnaque dans la ZALE: les produits arabes importés sont plutôt…chinois !
    Une partie importante des produits importés, dans le cadre de la Zone Arabe de Libre Échange (Zale), ne sont pas en fait d’origine arabe mais plutôt chinoise.
  • 30-Jul-2009 Continental News Zone arabe de libre-échange: L’Algérie appliquera la réciprocité
    L’Algérie réagit face au comportement protectionniste de certains pays membre de la zone arabe de libre-échange (ZALE). Les autorités algériennes s’apprêtent à appliquer le principe de la réciprocité dans l’application des «barrières non tarifaires» sur des produits importés de pays de la ZALE.
  • 21-May-2009 TSA Zone arabe de libre échange : la CACI défend l’adhésion de l’Algérie
    Contrairement au Forum des chefs d’entreprises (FCE), la Chambre Algérienne du Commerce et d’Industrie (CACi) voit d’un bon œil l’adhésion de l’Algérie à la Zone arabe de libre échange (ZALE).
  • 19-Jan-2009 Gulf Daily News Leaders set to approve Arab customs union
    Arab leaders are to approve a customs union - the first step to a common market - as well as a power grid and a rail network at their first economic summit in Kuwait, it was revealed yesterday.
  • 18-Jan-2009 Xinhua Official: Kuwait summit serious step towards establishing Arab economic bloc
    The General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture for Arab Countries said Saturday that the first Arab economic summit slated to be held on Jan. 19-20 will be a serious step to boost efforts to establish an Arab economic bloc.
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