Pan Arab Free Trade
The Establishment of the Pan Arab Free Trade Area
The Agreement On Facilitation And Development of
Trade Among Arab States was signed by the members of
the Arab league on the February 27, 1981.
To enhance the implementation of this Agreement the
member states agreed on February 19, 1997 on the
arrangements to establish the Pan Arab Free Trade
Area to be completed within 10 years.
The Arab Summit held in Beirut in march 2002 and the
Economic And Social Council meeting held in
September 2002 decided to reduce the transitional
period for the implementation of the Pan Arab Free
Trade Area (PAFTA) to be seven years ending in
- Member States of the (PAFTA):
Egypt United Arab Emirates (UAE) Bahrain
Jordon Tunisia Saudi Arabia Sudan Syria
Iraq Oman Palestine Qatar Kuwait
Lebanon Libya Morocco Yemen .
- Non Member states :
Members of the Arab League who have not yet
finalized the procedures to join the area.
Algeria Djibouti Somalia Comoros Islands
- Establishment of Free Trade Area (FTA) :
- Elimination of customs duties and other
fees and duties having similar effects was
implemented as follows:
10% annual reduction on first of January of
each year from 1998 to 2003 and by 20% for
the years 2004 and 2005.
- Elimination of Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs)
Member States should eliminate all non
tariff barriers, including Administrative,
Monetary, Financial and Technical barriers.
- Preferential treatment for the least
developed member states:
The Arab Summit decided to grant the least
developed member states a preferential
treatment, through which their exports to the
other member states should enjoy free access and
exemption and custom duties, meanwhile they have
to reduce their customs tariffs gradually in
five installments starting from January 1,2005.
- Rules of Origin :
The rules of origin applicable at the moment
requires that the value added should not be less
than 40% of ex- factory cost . Detailed rules of
origin have been under discussion among member
states for some time , when agreed upon , it
will replace the previous one.
- Trade in Services :
Agreement have been reached on the general
Provisions of the Agreement. Negotiations shall
start soon between member states to agree on the
specific commitments of each member.