Arab League adopts plan for regional economic integration

The objective is to make the Arab bloc a relevant economic player vis-à-vis the European Union, the United States and China
Meeting of the Arab League in El Cairo, 4 March 2020

AFP/MOHAMED el-SHAHED  -   Meeting of the Arab League in El Cairo, 4 March 2020

The Arab Parliament, an international chamber formed by the member countries of the Arab League, has taken a step forward in initiating the economic integration of the entire region. The objective is to make the Arab bloc a relevant economic player vis-à-vis the European Union, the United States and China. A legislative system and five bills have been approved, including an Arab investment law, a regulation to achieve food security, a new law on the digital economy, a quality law to facilitate Arab trade and a law on transport in the Arab world. Two visions on the activation of the Arab Common Market and a project on electricity interconnection between Arab countries were also given the green light.  

Mishaal bin Fahm al-Salami, Speaker of the Arab Parliament, says they have been working for a year to approve the new system of Arab economic integration. Al-Salami explained that the low rate of trade between Arab countries compared to the rate of trade between them and other countries has led to the adoption of the new legislative framework.  

The aim is to attract investment in Arab countries, increase the trade rates among Arab League member countries, improve their capacity to meet future challenges, achieve an Arab common market and customs union, establish new joint agricultural investment projects in Arab countries and achieve Arab food security.  

Al-Salami recognized that achieving economic integration is a major challenge subject to many legislative challenges and obstacles. These include the lack of coordination between the different economic plans of Arab countries, the lack of coordination between Arab economic plans and the disparity between the economies of the nations in the region.  

The Speaker of Parliament called for a strong commitment by all states that make up the Arab League to advance Arab economic integration. "This project requires the assistance of all Arab governments and parliaments to ensure that all mechanisms function properly. And he stressed that the Arab Parliament will send the integration plan to the Arab League to work on the document and make recommendations".