UAE backs GCC efforts to enhance intra-regional trade


Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi confirmed that the UAE is committed to supporting the GCC’s efforts in boosting regional integration and prosperity…reports Asian Lite News

UAE Minister for Foreign Trade Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi has led a high-level UAE delegation at the 66th GCC Trade Cooperation Committee meeting in Doha yesterday.

The meeting sought to enhance the GCC economic landscape by promoting regional trade opportunities, supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs, establishing new frameworks for investment and advancing progress on the GCC Commercial Arbitration Center. The session also explored potential amendments to commercial laws on consumer protection, competition regulations, e-commerce, and digital trade.

The UAE delegation included Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy; Abdullah Sultan Al Fan Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for the Control and Commercial Governance Sector; and Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for International Trade Affairs.

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi confirmed that the UAE is committed to supporting the GCC’s efforts in boosting regional integration and prosperity, stating that it serves the interests of all member states, enhances the competitiveness of local businesses, and fosters partnerships in key economic sectors.

He said: “We very much welcome the Trade Cooperation Committee’s ongoing efforts to boost the regional business environment, particularly in regards to attracting foreign investment, prioritizing support for SMEs, expediting business startup programs, easing export procedures, amending the rules and regulations governing trade, and promoting investment flows among member nations under the GCC Free Trade Agreement. It’s clear the committee’s work will help generate investment prospects for local entrepreneurs and project owners and enhance the sustainability, growth, and global competitiveness of GCC economies.”

During comprehensive discussions on ways to invigorate the GCC business landscape and foster collaboration frameworks among member states, the committee highlighted the need to streamline import and export processes and prioritize GCC SMEs in government tenders.

The Committee also deliberated on various mechanisms to assist to the region’s entrepreneurs. These strategies include implementing training programs, facilitating the exchange of expertise and experiences, promoting investment and partnerships, initiating business accelerator and establishment programs, as well as facilitating the registration of patents across all member states. The objective is to harness the growth enablers of the private sector.

The meeting emphasized the significance of establishing an investment committee that will focus on the advancement of local and intra-regional investments, attracting FDI and fostering partnerships with regional economic blocs and organizations. In addition to benefiting member states and their economies, an investment committee will also create opportunities for cooperation with GCC partners and investment ecosystem stakeholders.

The Committee members reviewed the most recent advancements in the Commercial Arbitration Center, and assessed amendments to the commercial laws and regulations in GCC member states that are seeking to keep pace with technological advancements and economic shifts, particularly in areas such as the regulation of competition and consumer protection. The Committee also highlighted the importance of establishing a unified GCC legislation for commercial franchising, which would effectively regulate the legal relationship between franchisors and franchisees. Ultimately, this initiative aims to promote trademark and franchise expansion among member states.

Another area of focus was the establishment of a legislative framework for electronic and digital commerce among the GCC countries, ensuring adherence to the procedural regulations of each country. The objective is to promote and strengthen electronic and digital commerce within the member states’ markets. Additionally, there is an emphasis on leveraging their collective expertise in this field.

The Committee also evaluated the arrangements for the second China-GCC Economic and Trade ministerial meeting. It discussed preparations for the accompanying forum, as well as planning for the first session of the China-GCC Forum on Industrial and Investment cooperation, which will be hosted by China this month. The goal of these meetings is to enhance economic and trade collaboration, particularly in areas such as investment, industry, and technology. Additionally, these efforts aim to establish a free trade agreement between China and the GCC, which would benefit both parties.

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