2001 News Story

Arab League to bring forward date of free trade zone

The ministerial economic and social council of the League of Arab States, which concluded its meetings in Cairo today, has decided to shorten the transitional period for establishing the Arab free trade zone, bringing it forward to early 2005 instead of late 2007. The council made a number of recommendations, calling on Arab states to take further steps to eliminate trade barriers and boost trade among themselves, and urging Arab finance institutions to support less developed Arab states. Other decisions involved setting up an Arab customs union, and taking steps to avoid tax duplication among Arab countries.