MP says hur­dles in Greater Arab Free Trade Area need to clear

Calls for beef­ing up joint Arab ac­tion

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

It is im­per­a­tive to elim­i­nate all ob­sta­cles that could en­cum­ber busi­ness in the ‘Greater Arab Free Trade Area’ (GAFTA), a Kuwaiti MP said yes­ter­day. MP Khaled AlO­taibi, a mem­ber of the Arab Par­lia­ment’s Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Com­mit­tee, said that de­ci­sions made dur­ing pre­vi­ous Arab de­vel­op­ment sum­mits have yet to come to fruition, which rep­re­sents a short­com­ing. He pointed out that struc­tural flaws in Arab pro­duc­tion has stalled trade de­vel­op­ment, adding that the just-con­cluded meet­ing of the com­mit­tee yielded its agenda for the up­com­ing term.

Otaibi also added that the meet­ing tack­led var­i­ous is­sues to be re­ferred to the Arab Par­lia­ment’s forth­com­ing ses­sion to­day. The Arab Par­lia­ment has formed var­i­ous ad hoc com­mit­tees deal­ing with for­eign, po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and le­gal af­fairs, in ad­di­tion to other is­sues.

Arab as­pi­ra­tions

On Mon­day, Otaibi af­firmed the ne­ces­sity of uni­fy­ing Arab vi­sions to re­move ob­sta­cles in or­der to meet as­pi­ra­tions of Arab na­tions. Speak­ing on the side­lines of the Arab Par­lia­ment’s fi­nan­cial and eco­nomic com­mit­tee meet­ing, Otaibi said there are some eco­nomic, le­gal and leg­isla­tive ob­sta­cles that should be re­moved.

Such top­ics were dis­cussed by the con­fer­ees dur­ing the meet­ing, he added. The meet­ing touched upon the pro­pos­als of the Arab in­vest­ment projects as well as re­viewed a re­port on the lat­est de­vel­op­ments per­tain­ing to GAFTA and ways to ac­cel­er­ate the im­ple­men­ta­tion of its ex­ec­u­tive pro­gram, he noted.

Joint ac­tion

Mean­while, Kuwaiti MP and Arab Par­lia­ment mem­ber Ali Al-De­qbasi called for step­ping up Arab joint ac­tion to counter chal­lenges and threats to Arab se­cu­rity. In a state­ment on the side­lines of a meet­ing of the Arab Par­lia­ment’s For­eign Af­fairs, Po­lit­i­cal and Na­tional Se­cu­rity Com­mit­tee, De­qbasi noted that the com­mit­tee has dis­cussed boost­ing Arab co­op­er­a­tion to live up to Arab peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions and to over­come the im­pend­ing threats to the re­gion as well as to fight poverty, hun­gry and dis­eases. He pointed out that the mem­bers have also tack­led ef­forts to close Arab ranks and to iron out dif­fer­ences.

De­qbasi voiced con­cerns about the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in the Arab re­gion, stress­ing the need for dou­bling ef­forts to ease ten­sion and unite Arab coun­tries. In the mean­time, he also lauded Kuwait ac­tivism and co­op­er­a­tion with the in­ter­na­tional par­lia­men­tar­ian or­ga­ni­za­tions to stand up to the Is­raeli vi­o­la­tions of in­ter­na­tional law and il­le­gal prac­tices against Pales­tinian peo­ple and ter­ri­to­ries. —KUNA

Mem­ber of Kuwait’s Na­tional Assem­bly and Arab Par­lia­ment Ali Al-De­qbasi (cen­ter) at­tends the meet­ing of the Arab Par­lia­ment’s For­eign Af­fairs, Po­lit­i­cal and Na­tional Se­cu­rity Com­mit­tee.

CAIRO: Kuwaiti law­maker Khaled Al-Otaibi (cen­ter) at­tends the Arab Par­lia­ment’s fi­nan­cial and eco­nomic com­mit­tee meet­ing. —KUNA

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