Qatar Chamber (QC) Chairman HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani stressed the need to revitalize intra-Arab trade, which he said is still under the level of ambitions, as it represents only about 10% of the total Arab trade.

Al Moltaqa coverIn an opening article for the August issue of Al-Moltaqa magazine issued by the chamber, the chairman pointed out that despite the existence of tremendous facilities and the complete customs exemptions provided by the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) established two decades ago, intra-Arab trade still requires solutions to return back on track.

He praised the meetings of the 131st session of the Board of Union of Arab Chambers last June,  participated by unions heads, heads of Arab chambers of commerce and industry, and highlighted the most important issue, which is the need to enhance intra-Arab trade.

Enhancing intra-Arab trade

HE Sheikh Khalifa said there is continuous coordination between Arab chambers of commerce and industry, to enhance the intra-Arab trade and mutual investments. The General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of the Arab Countries works with their members to encourage intra-Arab trade and support GAFTA to reach a joint Arab market.

The Arab countries are urged to enhance joint Arab investments by identifying the business opportunities in their respective countries, facilitate the exchange of investments and establish joint investments in pursuit of reaching Arab economic integration, he added.

He said that these efforts are still lacking – from the businessmen’s interest in directing their investments to Arab countries, to the governments’ intention to enact legislation for facilitating the import of Arab goods, and the willingness of Arab consumers to buy Arab goods.

By achieving the above aspirations, the intra-Arab trade will hopefully meet our countries’ goal for economic integration, and the creation of an Arab economic bloc.

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