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Council of Arab Economic Unity
     Full member of GAFTA and member of the Arab League      Candidate member of GAFTA and member of the Arab League
Administrative center Egypt Cairo
Official language Arabic
Type Trade bloc
Establishment 3 June 1957
 -  GAFTA signed 1 January 1998 
 -  GAFTA full force 1 January 2005 

The Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU) was established[1] by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen on 3 June 1957. It became effective 30 May 1964, with the ultimate goal of achieving complete economic unity among its member states.



  • To formulate regulations, legislations, and tariffs, aiming at the creation of a unified Arab custom area.
  • To co-ordinate foreign trade policies with a view to ensuring the co-ordination of the region's economy vis-à-vis world economy.
  • To co-ordinate economic development and formulate programs for the attainment of joint Arab development project.
  • To co-ordinate policies related to agriculture, industry, and internal trade.
  • To co-ordinate financial and monetary policies with the aim of achieving monetary unity.
  • To co-ordinate legislations for taxes and duties.
  • To formulate unified regulations for transport and transit in the contracting countries.
  • To draft common legislations on labour and social security.
  • To prepare a budget for the CAEU council and its affiliated bodies.

Agadir Agreement

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 a free trade area between Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco and it was seen as a possible first step in the establishment 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.

Greater Arab Free Trade Area

As of 1 January 2005, the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (also referred to as GAFTA) came into existence. GAFTA is a pact made by the Arab League to achieve a complete Arab economic bloc that can compete internationally. GAFTA is relatively similar to ASEAN. The Project was adopted in the Arab League Summit of Amman in 1997, with 17 Arab League members signing the pact, and in 2005, Algeria was accepted into the Gafta to reach 18 Arab members, from the Original 22 Arab League members, GAFTA is supervised and run by the Arab Economic Council in the Arab League. GAFTA has a high income, population, and area and has significant resources available. [4]

The Greater Arab Free Trade Area was a project adopted in 1997, when 17 Arab League members agreed on decreasing the customs on local production and to make an Arab Free Zone for exports and imports between members. 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 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 Arab Economic and Social Council in its 65th 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 67th meeting the Arab 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 of the Arab League, the members will put more efforts to eliminate all customs duties on local Arab goods.

See also


External links



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