Progress in implementing the Grand Arab
Free Trade Zone
Riyadh, 12th September 2001— Arab League's
Ministerial Economic and Social Council decided to shorten the transitional
period for establishing the Grand Arab Free Trade Zone so that the transitional
period ends in early 2005 instead of late 2007.
At the end of its meetings in Cairo today, the
Council made a number of recommendations and called on Arab states to take
further steps to eliminate trade barriers and boost trade.
It called on Arab financial institutions to
support the less developed Arab states.
The Council also took other economic decisions
aimed at boosting Arab economic integration which included the setting up of an
Arab customs union and [establishing mechanisms] to avoid tax duplication among
the Arab countries.