Council of Arab Economic Unity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Greater Arab Free Trade Area)
Jump to: navigation, search
Council of Arab Economic Unity
  Arab League and GAFTA member  Arab League and candidate GAFTA member
  Arab League and GAFTA member
  Arab League and candidate GAFTA member
Administrative center Egypt Cairo, Egypt
Official language Arabic
Type Trade bloc
Establishment 3 June 1957
 -  GAFTA signed 1 January 1998 
 -  GAFTA in force 1 January 2005 

The Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU) was founded by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen on May 30, 1964, following an agreement in 1957 by the Economic Council of the Arab League.[1]


  • To formulate regulations, legislation and tariffs aimed at creating a unified Arab customs area.
  • To coordinate foreign trade policies with a view toward coordinating the region's economy in respect to the world economy.
  • To coordinate economic development and formulate programs to jointly increase Arab development.
  • To coordinate policies related to agriculture, industry, and internal trade.
  • To coordinate financial and monetary policies and eventually achieve monetary unity.
  • To coordinate legislation for taxes and duties.
  • To formulate unified regulations for transport and transit within the member countries.
  • To draft common legislation on labor and social security.
  • To prepare a budget for the CAEU council and its affiliated bodies.

Agadir Agreement[edit]

"The Agadir Agreement" for the establishment of a free trade zone between the Arabic Mediterranean Nations was signed in Rabat, Morocco on 25 February 2004.[2] The agreement aimed at establishing free trade between Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco which was seen as a first potential step in the formation of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area as envisaged in the Barcelona Process.[3] All members of the Agadir Agreement have since joined the "Greater Arab Free Trade Area", effectively superseding the agreement.[citation needed]

Greater Arab Free Trade Area[edit]

The "Greater Arab Free Trade Area" (GAFTA) is a pan-Arab free trade zone that came into existence in 1997. It was founded by 14 countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.[4][5] The formation of GAFTA followed the adoption of the "Agreement to Facilitate and Develop Trade Among Arab Countries" (1981) by the Arab League's Economic and Social Council (ESC) and the approval by seventeen Arab League member-states at a summit in Amman, Jordan of the "Greater Arab Free Trade Area Agreement" (1997). In 2009, Algeria joined GAFTA as the eighteenth member-state. GAFTA is supervised and run by the ESC.[6]

The members participate in 96% of the total internal Arab trade, and 95% with the rest of the world by applying the following conditions:

  1. Instruct the inter-customs fees:
    To reduce the Customs on Arab products by 10% annually, the 14 Arab states reported their custom tariff programs to the Security Council of the Arab League to coordinate them with each others, except for Syria that is still using the Brussels tariffs system.
  2. Applying the locality of the Arab products:
    All members have shared their standards and specifications to help their products move smoothly from one country to another.
    The League has also created a project to apply the Arab Agriculture Pact:
    Which is to share the standards of the agricultural sector and inject several more restrictions and specifications where all members have involved in them.
    The Arab League granted exceptions, which allow a customs rate for certain goods, to six members for several goods, however rejected requests by Morocco, Lebanon and Jordan for additional exceptions.
  3. Private sectors:
    The League created a database and a service to inform and promote for the private's sectors benefits, and how their work would be in the GAFTA treaty is needed.
  4. Communication:
    The Economic and Social Council in its sixty-fifth meeting agreed on pointing a base for communication to ease communication between member states, and also to work to ease communication between the Private and public sectors to apply the Greater Arab Free Trade Area between members.
  5. Customs Duties:
    In the sixty-seventh meeting the Economic and Social Council agreed that the 40% decrease on customs on goods in the past 4 years of the GAFTA will continue and following the decisions of the Amman summit, the members will put more efforts to eliminate all customs duties on local Arab goods.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jovanovic, M. N., ed. International Handbook on the Economics of Integration. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011, p. 508
  2. ^ "Full text of the Agreement (English version) Link broken!". 
  3. ^ Wippel, Steffen. "The Agadir Agreement and Open regionalism" (PDF). 
  4. ^ Abedini, Javad and Nicolas Péridy (2007:1): The Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA): An Estimation of the Trade Effects accessed on 13 August 2010
  5. ^ Afifi, Tamer Mohamed Ahmed (2007:19): The Challenge of Implementing the Overlapping Regional Trade Agreements in Egypt, Cuvillier Verlag, Goettingen.
  6. ^ "Full text of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area Agreement (1997)". 2005-07-17. Retrieved 2008-03-18 Link broken!.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]