The Ministers for Finance of the GCC nations and the Secretary General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf during a virtual meeting.
Business Bureau, Gulf Today
Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, chaired the 111th meeting of the GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee. The meeting took place virtually to discuss the recommendations and findings from the 57th meeting of the GCC Undersecretaries of Ministries of Finance Committee, and ways take the necessary steps.
Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance and representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy and the Federal Customs Authority also attended the meeting, along with their Excellencies, the Ministers of Finance of the GCC nation, and the Secretary General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
Obaid Humaid Al Tayer stressed the importance of these meetings, especially given the global repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. He underscored the need for coordination between GCC countries to take the necessary measures to contain the financial and economic impact of COVID-19 on GCC nations, as well as to work to achieve common Gulf economic integration to serve the interests of the people of the Gulf.
He said: “The UAE is ready and willing to communicate and consult on all issues that support joint Gulf economic policies. We are ready to support any efforts made by member countries to quell the consequences of the pandemic and limit its spread. Furthermore, we want to mitigate its economic impact on various sectors in GCC countries and to further bolster them to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and comprehensive growth.”
Deliberated at the meeting were the precautionary measures and efforts undertaken by GCC countries to tackle the financial and economic impact of the pandemic. Also discussed were several topics that support the process of joint Gulf action, including the customs union, the GCC common market, as well as the minutes of the GCC Committee of Governors of Monetary Institutions and Central Banks. As well as, the proposed issues for the International Monetary Fund to study and submit those studies at the joint meeting of the GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee, the GCC Committee of Governors of Monetary Institutions and Central Banks and the Director General of the International Monetary Fund.
Also discussed was the UAE’s proposal regarding the meeting of the committees affiliated to the Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee. The proposal aims to improve the unified Gulf economic work system with recommendations to provide an integrated mechanism, along with a road map to achieve them. This includes a start and end date to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations issued by the Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee.
Furthermore, the meeting discussed the decision of the 40th session of GCC Supreme Council. The 40th session agreed to assign the Financial and Economic Committee to accredit and implement the necessary decisions for joint action in customs union, including the amendments of the Common Customs Law, the Guide for Customs Procedures, unified guide to releasing foreign goods, as well as amendments of the unified tariff.
Also agreed upon in the meeting was the decision to assign the Financial and Economic Committee with matters related to value added tax, selective tax, joint Gulf stock market, industry input exemption controls, and ways to combat harmful practices in international trade. This is in coordination with relevant ministerial committees and in a manner that does not clash with the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and the Ministerial Council.
The Deputy Ministers of Finance Committee held its 57th preparatory meeting for the 111th meeting of the GCC Council of Economic and Development Affairs the day before yesterday. Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MoF, attended the meeting to discuss many of the aforementioned topics and provided recommendations to the ministers.
The Financial and Economic Committee periodically discusses topics related to joint Gulf economic work, implementation of the Common Economic Agreement, as well as issues related to the customs union and the Gulf common market. The committee also discusses tax issues within the GCC, and ways to support trade exchange between member countries.
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