General Manager of Kuwait General Administration of Customs (KGAC) Khaled Al-Saif on Tuesday highlighted the importance of accelerating steps towards pan-Arab customs union in order to promote integration among, and prod growth of, the Arab economies.
The 33rd session of the general managers of the Arab customs departments is mulling ways to standardize the customs measures based on the recommendations of the previous expert committee meetings, he told KUNA on the sidelines of the meeting.
"We have discussed the planned transit cities, their regulations and procedures in a bid to facilitate trade exchanges among the Arab countries, particularly the cross-border trade," Al-Saif revealed.
He lauded the GCC customs union as exemplary, recommending that this model should be discussed by the Arab League a prelude to adopting a similar pan-Arab customs union.
"If the Arab countries adopt a customs union, they will be able to reach economic integration and form an economic bloc on a par with the European and the North American ones," Al-Saif opined.
He regretted that the planned Arab customs union has missed the deadline of 2015, voicing hope that the coming meeting of the Arab customs departments, due in May, will take a step towards specifying a new deadline.
The just-ended 33rd session of the general managers of the Arab customs departments, chaired by Sudan, discussed the recommendations of the last year meetings of the ad hoc committees for reviving the Arab economies, Dr. Saifuddin Omar Sulaiman, the chair of the meeting, told reporters.
"We have also discussed the reports of the committee on customs procedures and information and the committee customs tariffs, as well as the possible measure to standardize the customs tariffs and upgrade inter-Arab transit agreement," Sulaiman added.