H.E. Mr. Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry, participated in the Second Extraordinary Meeting of Ministers of Commerce in Arab states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The meeting was held via video conference to follow up on recent developments across the region, and to coordinate efforts to contain the economic repercussions of the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Discussions touched on the outcomes and recommendations put forward during the meeting of the Undersecretaries of the Ministries of Commerce in GCC countries, which was held on April 9, 2020, also via video conference. Participants discussed the topics on the meeting’s agenda, particularly the issue of food security, and considered the adoption of unified draft law on the subject, and the recommendations of the Technical Council of the GCC Standardization Organization to address the crisis and its repercussions.
The meeting highlighted the exceptional circumstances that countries around the world are facing, and the impact on economic and trade sectors as well as efforts to restore balance to the global economy and international and regional trade.
The meeting also highlighted efforts across GCC countries to address the repercussions of the pandemic and to mitigate its impact on all levels.
Participants highlighted the need to promote food security, and ensure the continuity of food supply chains and medical supplies for residents of GCC countries, in light of the partial and complete lockdowns that have been implemented in various countries.
The meeting also featured discussions on the action plan that Kuwait proposed on the importance of establishing a GCC food security system, and the availability of a sufficient stock of medical supplies in times of crises.
Participants also agreed on the need to identify existing laws on food security across GCC member states, to pave the way for the adoption of a unified draft law on food security and to secure a strategic stockpile.
The meeting also discussed the recommendations put forward by the Technical Council of the GCC Standardization Organization and the General Secretariat role in following up on the implementation of council’s recommendations to guarantee the interests of all member states.
In light of the discussions, participants stressed the importance of forming a team of liaison officers representing the ministries of commerce in GCC states to follow up on the latest developments, exchange information and coordinate in order to overcome challenges hindering the flow of goods between member countries, and to propose appropriate solutions.
The meeting concluded with the Ministers of Commerce in GCC countries expressing satisfaction with the outcomes and recommendations to combat the pandemic, and hoping for an end to the crisis and a global and regional economic recovery.