GCC ministers discuss joint efforts to boost trade

MUSCAT: GCC Ministers of Commerce and Industry held their 57th meeting for the Trade Cooperation Committee and the 45th meeting of the Industrial Cooperation Committee, chaired by Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, at the headquarters of the Consultative Council of the GCC Supreme Council in Muscat on Wednesday. The ministers agreed to hold a joint meeting that includes the ministers and elite entrepreneurs and innovators in the GCC countries.
During the two meetings, the ministers discussed the issues related to the commercial and industrial sectors in the GCC countries that were highlighted by entrepreneurs and innovation initiatives for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). They also discussed a proposal to unify the certificates of origin, as well as a proposal to establish a law to protect copyright and related rights, the competition (Nidham) law, in addition to the report of the Federation of GCC Chambers on the evaluation of the conferences of the Gulf industrialists and exhibitions held on the sidelines.
The meeting also reviewed the activities and achievements of the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) during 2018 and the latest developments related to the investigations against harmful practices, grievances and customs duties.
Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, said in a speech before the meeting of the Trade Cooperation Committee that the GCC countries have made great strides in the field of trade cooperation and have worked to strengthen and develop it to benefit the countries and citizens of these countries. He pointed out that these countries have adopted the principle of equality among their citizens in practicing economic, investment and service activities without differentiation.
He said that GCC countries have been keen to improve the foreign investment climate and have improved the conditions related to access to world markets by unifying the standards and measures of producing goods. He added that the GCC adopted a unified trade policy in dealing with the outside world, WTO and other international and regional organisations as one economic unit to stimulate trade and investment exchange with the external world.
Dr Al Sunaidy considered that the joint cooperation between the GCC countries in the trade sector has opened wide avenues in many economic fields, which was reflected in the growth of trade among them to reach about $76 billion until the end of 2017. He pointed out that the value of commodity exports hit $537 billion by the end of 2017. He also said that the value of imports amounted to $457 billion until the end of 2017, which prove the importance of these markets and their ability to contribute effectively in world trade.
Dr Abdul Latif bin Rashid al Zayani, GCC Secretary-General, praised the good efforts exerted by the Committee to promote cooperation and joint integration among the GCC countries in the field of the trade sector, in translation of the directives of the GCC leaders as it is directly linked with achieving development, prosperity and progress of the GCC states and their citizens. — ONA