Kuwaiti Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah said the 97th meeting of the GCC ministerial committee on financial and economic cooperation adopted a range of decisions to advance integration process of GCC member states.
"Most notable among these decisions is the adoption of the recommendations of the meeting of the governors of GCC central banks regarding the combat against money laundering and financing for terrorism," he told KUNA after the ministerial meeting hosted by the GCC Secretariat Saturday.
On customs cooperation an agreement has been reached to launch a mechanism to facilitate the movement of goods and remit the customs fees automatically among the GCC states, he said.
"A joint technical team of customs and financial experts will be formed to work out the blueprint of this mechanism and assess its efficacy three years after its inception," Sheikh Salem revealed.
Commenting on the suggestion, raised by Bahraini Minister of Finance Sheikh Ahmad bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, he said the meeting agreed that stakeholders in major joint development projects should enjoy tax and customs relief on all their respective transactions and assets relating to these projects.
As for the planned single tax system, he said the meeting mulled the progress made so far by the technical team and instructing finalizing the system and all related controls before the coming meeting of the ministerial committee, due in May, 2014.
The meeting also agreed to grant tax and customs relief on all industrial production requirements in collaboration with the GCC committees on industrial cooperation and customs union, Sheikh Salem went on.
On the planed railways to link the GCC states, he said the meeting agreed, in the light of the outcome of the 17th meeting of the GCC ministers of transport and communications, that the GCC Secretariat has to work with the World Bank and the GCC states to develop the feasibility study, routes of the railroad and parameters of the project.
"The meeting adopted the single law on consumer protection which will be referred to the 34th session of the GCC Supreme Council for final endorsement, " Sheikh Salem disclosed.
The meeting also discussed the report of the committee on economic reform which recommends taking advantage of the Turkish experience in addressing inflation and financial problems.
Besides the ministerial meeting, Sheikh Salem took part in a joint meeting between the governors of the GCC central banks and deputy director of the International Monetary Fund which discussed the economic challenges facing the Gulf region as well as the economic development on the international scale