RIYADH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Thursday 16 May 2013
Last update 16 May 2013 4:18 am
Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah expected a growth in Saudi exports during the coming period.
He stressed the fact that Saudi Arabia's nonoil exports to the Arab countries had increased five-fold compared to the past seven years.
"We seek to sign several trade agreements with Arab countries, taking into consideration the protection of our markets", he said on the sidelines of the training seminar on international and regional trade agreements held in Riyadh recently.
Speaking with regard to fears of some industrialists concerning the increase of "products values", and the cost of manufacturing he said: "We are keen on the success of our industries, and to provide incentives for the sector to grow so as to be competitive on the global stage".
He explained that the seminar focused on mutual trade agreements between countries. "Such agreements need prolonged training and expertise", he added.
Saudi Arabia aspires to increase mutual trade with other countries, he pointed out. "We have achieved good results in exporting our products, but we still need to maximize that sector".
With regard to regional agreements, Al-Rabiah said that there are special ones with GCC states, along with the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) which took force in 2005. "This later agreement has had a great impact on increasing Saudi exports", he confirmed.
"Economic blocs and countries around the world seek to sign free trade agreements, or customs unions with the aim of opening up larger markets for their goods and services", he said, adding that the number of agreements of the World Trade Organization is reported to be more than 240 in all.
He stressed the fact that the Kingdom is seeking to occupy an advanced economic status on the global stage.
"One way to accomplish this is by signing multilateral agreements, opening the markets in face of our exports and creating mutual commercial exchange".