MANAMA: Kuwait’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Abdullah Al-Salman attends the GCC standardization organization meeting with the commercial collaboration committee between GCC ministers. – KUNA

MANAMA: Finance Ministers of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE discussed yesterday along with their Bahraini counterpart latest updates on Bahraini fiscal balance program initiatives that the Arab Monetary Fund is monitoring as a consulting agency. Bahraini News Agency (BNA) mentioned that this came during a meeting in which the ministers displayed latest updates regarding the initiatives, in light of the effects of the pandemic on the executive process. The initiatives are implemented in order to achieve financial balance between government expenditures and revenues for the year 2024.

The agency also stated that the three ministers commended Bahraini efforts in executing the program and achieving development irrespective of the challenges proposed by coronavirus pandemic. The ministers affirmed their support for Bahraini efforts in furthering reforms, boosting financial stability and supporting sustained economic growth. The three countries have provided the kingdom of Bahrain with financial support for its program, according to an agreement signed in 2018 between them and Bahrain as well as the Arab Monetary Fund.

Separately, Kuwait’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Abdullah Al-Salman affirmed yesterday the importance of achieving sustained development within the Gulf region, in what serves a combined vision of positive change for all GCC states. This came by the minister in a statement to the press on the sidelines of the GCC standardization organization meeting with the commercial collaboration committee between member states’ ministers in Bahrain.

Salman said that achieving this requires collaboration between several partners from both public and private sectors in Gulf countries, as well as utilizing available instruments to implement standard national regional and international specifications to accomplish sustained development objectives. He also stated that member states of the Gulf council comprise a homogenous mixture in which committees can work to alleviate obstacles ensuring economic and commercial integration. The minister also stressed the importance of such meetings and communication to boost joint collaboration in what serves economic unity.

Salman mentioned that observing committee meetings’ outputs and recommendations contributes to solidifying Gulf relations and facilitating trade exchange, as well as easing commodity transport and encouraging trade between member states. He also indicated that achieving such objectives guarantees positive change in all Gulf countries and improves life standards for Gulf citizens.

Continued consultation
The consultative meeting of GCC commerce ministers and heads of chambers of commerce and industry had kicked off Tuesday in Bahrain. Bahrain’s commerce and industry minister Zayed Al-Zayani said the meeting comes out of faith in the importance of continued consultation and cooperation between the GCC private and public sectors in all fields. He pointed to the key role played by the private sector in pushing ahead economy in a way that has a positive impact on the GCC commercial and economic status. He noted this fruitful meeting discusses the GCC leaders’ recommendations to reach their desired goals and ambitions so as to rapidly implement what has been agreed upon regarding a road map to reach the economic unity among the GCC countries by 2025.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Nayef Al-Hajraf said that the GCC Secretary is looking forward to further efforts to enhance cooperation amongst ministries of commerce and industry, and contribute to removing obstacles and challenges facing the private sector in the Gulf States. He stated that the GCC leaders’ efforts, implementing health measures as well as providing financial incentives reduced the negative effects during the peak of the pandemic. “We see a tangible success in the economic stability in the GCC countries and the rapid return to growth,” he said. The GCC countries are still making more efforts to recover and return to normal economic growth, he went on to say.

Hajraf pointed out that the General Secretariat submitted the recommendations of the previous consultative meetings to the position of the supreme council to issue its directives. The GCC leaders expressed their satisfaction about continuous cooperation between the public and private sectors, calling for continuing and strengthening this approach, he said. – AFP