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Arab League meeting discusses facilitation of free trade zone

Arab News | 11 December 2023

Arab League meeting discusses facilitation of free trade zone

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has proposed creating a platform for trade during an Arab League meeting to enhance communication among member states and find solutions to potential obstacles in the region.

The 56th meeting of the Arab League’s Implementation and Follow-up Committee of the Economic and Social Council held on Dec. 10 focused primarily on implementing the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Bahjat Abu Al-Nasr, the director of the Economic Integration Department of the Arab League, said in his opening speech that the meeting’s agenda includes eight critical items.

He noted that the most prominent was the follow-up item examining the mechanisms for implementing the summit’s decision to facilitate the Arab free trade area.

Through the Saudi-proposed resolution, the committee aims to discuss any obstacles that the implementation of the provisions of the zone may face.

Al-Nasr further pointed out that the meeting will also review developments in applying the new annexes that are complementary to the executive program of the free trade zone in various fields.

These include revising technical restrictions, trade facilitation, intellectual property rights and following up on the establishment of committees concerned with applying these annexes.

Acting Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Finance, Talal Al-Nemash, told the Kuwaiti News Agency that the committee holds regular meetings to discuss trade zone developments.

Al-Nemash considered the Greater Arab Free Trade Zone “the modern component” of an Arab trade system, which is the basis for exchange negotiations and a reference for periodic economic summits and the Economic and Social Council.

The meeting took place in Cairo, with representatives of the ministries of finance and trade from countries concerned with the Greater Arab Free Trade Zone, the Director of the Economic Integration Department of the Arab League Bahjat Abu Al-Nasr, and a representative of the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development.

 source: Arab News