17 January 2019
Arab and international news
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"Mankish Net" now presents you with the news of the activation of the Greater Trade Zone to complete the work of the Arab Economic Summit in Beirut
The Lebanese capital Beirut will host the fourth session of the Arab economic and development summit, which will last for two days with the participation and participation of leaders and representatives of the Arab countries.
The summit will discuss various issues and issues aimed at achieving greater integration and economic cooperation between the Arab countries and building on the results achieved in the previous three economic summits, the last of which was the Riyadh summit in 2013. The first summit Arab economy was held in Kuwait in 2009, the second was held in Cairo in 2011.
In recent days, the Lebanese capital has seen a series of preparatory meetings for the summit, with the participation of the delegations of the Arab countries and of the General Secretariat of the Arab League in view of the adoption of the summit agenda. and topics to discuss.
The Arab summit on electricity and the development of a "guide" card to support small, medium and micro enterprises On a social level, the Beirut summit will discuss the issue of the protection of refugee children in the Arab world. A regional initiative for the health of Arab women and a framework for the elimination of multidimensional poverty The summit will also discuss the issue of Arab child labor and ways to integrate women into the development of local communities.
However, despite the intense program of the economic summit in many files, the file of the Arab Free Trade Area / JAFTA should occupy the position of Arab leader in Beirut, according to the Deputy Secretary of the League's Ambassador Araba for Economy, Kamal Hassan Ali, Free Arabic files are the most important files.
For his part, the Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ambassador Hossam Zaki, stressed that there is a determined work in the university to complete the Great Free Area as soon as possible. Arab exchange, noting that 95% of the detailed rules of origin for the Arab goods have been completed And the two lists of the rules of origin are currently being defined, thus completing the detailed rules of origin, Zaki also stressed that the Last year, the Arab Convention for the Liberation of Trade in Services was also ratified and will enter into force once ratified. from Three Arab countries.
The Great Arab Free Trade Area, which came into force in January 2005, is a very important step in the process of Arab economic development and integration, which can be built and transferred to other more advanced stages on the path of economic integration between Arab countries, And then the common Arab market.
The establishment of the Free Trade Area (FTA) is one of the most important steps to encourage intra-Arab trade, thus widening the opportunities for integration between the Arab markets. Therefore, it represents a step forward in the path of Arab economic integration and investment of commercial opportunities available in the markets of the Arab countries.
The completion of the region is expected to lead to the creation of an investment environment in the Arab countries to attract more investments and joint ventures and to improve the competitiveness of Arab products, as a consequence of the elimination of tariffs, the elimination of many procedures and commissions with a similar effect and the minimization of non-tariff barriers, which for long periods constituted an obstacle to the intra-Arab commercial movement.
It was announced that the Great Free Trade Area was set up during the Arab summit held in 1997 after 17 Arab countries signed their agreement, in accordance with the decisions of the previous Arab summit held in Cairo in 1996 with objective of creating a common Arab market in the face of global blocs. Under this agreement, Arab countries have agreed to reduce taxes on products and goods of Arab origin, until such taxes are definitively canceled at a later stage and to establish an Arab free trade zone for imports. and the export.
The Arab Free Trade Area (AFTA) was preceded by several meetings and consultations held by the Economic and Social Council of the League of Arab States between 1995 and 1996, commissioned by Arab leaders, to discuss the organizational aspects of this region and to establish an agreed timetable and implementation. .
The consultations for the establishment of a calendar for the establishment of the Great Arab Free Trade Area within ten years, from 1 January 1998, have been completed in accordance with the provisions of the Facilitation and Development Agreement of the trade between the Arab States and also in accordance with the rules of the WTO and the general rules governing international trade. But the region came into force in 2005, two years ahead of schedule, and the number of Arab countries currently members is 18 years old.
The executive program of the Convention established the rules and regulations for the liberalization of trade between the Arab countries within the framework of the Great Arab Free Trade Area, in particular with regard to the progressive reduction of customs duties, taxes and charges having a similar effect, leading complete cancellation of such duties on Arab goods and products.
However, about 20 years after the announcement of the creation of the Great Arab Free Trade Area and about 15 years after its entry into force, the result is very modest and does not correspond to the aspirations and expectations that accompanied this important step for promote Arab economic integration. As figures and statistics indicate that the volume of trade between these countries does not exceed 10% of the total volume of trade with the outside world, despite the total exemption from customs duties for exported goods and services and imported into Arab countries since 2005.
Many experts and analysts believe that this is due to many obstacles to the growth of intra-Arab trade and the increase in trade between Arab countries, some of which are related to technical and procedural issues related to the commitment of Arab countries to implement the terms of the free trade agreement, and the obligation to gradually reduce customs and customs tariffs, since many Arab countries still impose tariffs on imported goods and products of Arab origin, under different names .
There are obstacles and obstacles linked to economic, political and security conditions and to the institutional structure in the Arab countries and to the institutional structure of economic and social work of common nudity.
Observers hope that the Arab economic summit in Beirut will be able to take many decisions and measures to remove these obstacles, which so far have prevented the increase of trade between the Arab countries, thus contributing to the activation and revitalization of the free trade area and turning it into reality on the ground.
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News as reported by the source