Arab leaders edge toward decision on Free Trade Zone
Monday, March 25, 2013
leaders are expected to take a final decision on the plan of establishing the
Greater Arab Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
Doha Summit is expected to take a final decision on the plan and if it
for some reason, I am afraid the project might be delayed for long,”
Mohamed Ibrahim Al Tewaijri, Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab
Social and Economic Council, was quoted as saying by Qatari daily The Peninsula.
Arab economic integration plan aims to introduce a free trade zone by 2015,
with various reforms including a unified customs regime and a unified
certification policy. The FTZ would have a strong impact on international trade
and economy, especially on Arab food security and agricultural development.
project, conceptualised in 1998, would be
implemented by 18 Arab countries. The Arab League counts 22 member States, but
4 countries, Somalia, Djibouti, Mauritania and Cameron Island, have not ratified
to Qatar's Minister of Economy and Finance, Yousef Hussein Kamal, who chairs the
ministerial-level of the Arab Economic and Social Council’s 24th session in
Doha, achieving the goal would require overcoming all obstacles to the
implementation of the FTZ, including the fulfillment of the requirements of
setting up the FTZ before the end of 2013 and the launch of the Arab customs
union before the full implementation of the zone in 2015.
Arab League’s Social and Economic Council completed the spadework needed for
the Arab leaders to approve the FTZ plan. Works on elaborating rules in
regulations will start as soon as the FTZ plan is endorsed by the Summit.