The UAE participated in the first meeting of legal specialists in charge of creating a list of non-tariff restrictions related to resolving disputes within the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, GAFTA.
The meeting was held today at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League, chaired by Egypt and attended by representatives of Arab ministries of commerce, industry and investment.
The UAE was represented by Abdullah Sultan Alfan Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Trade Remedies Sector of the Ministry of Economy.
In his speech, Dr. Bahgat Abu Al Nasr, Director of the Arab Economic Integration Department of the Arab League, said the meeting aimed to implement rules on resolving disputes related to goods, services and investments.
He also pointed out that those attending the two-day meeting discussed a new draft resolution prepared by the Arab League General Secretariat 2004, which covers the communications between Arab League member states related to GAFTA, the Economic and Social Council and the Arab Investment Court.
Al Nasr noted that creating a new dispute resolution mechanism will help solve commercial disputes and facilitate trade between Arab League member countries, to discourage them from imposing non-customs restrictions or technical restrictions, which will affect trade.
He explained that the meeting was held because a dispute resolution mechanism adopted in 2004 was not used due to its weaknesses, adding that some countries resorted to holding discussion to solve issues without the commitment of member states to GAFTA’s requirements.
Therefore, the Arab League decided that a new dispute resolution mechanism must be developed, and a new draft mechanism was presented during the meeting, whose recommendations will be subsequently presented during a meeting of customs general managers of Arab countries, scheduled to be held on Wednesday at the Arab League, he said.